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Medal - Anzac Remembrance, Dora Ohlfsen, Australia, 1919 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20766

Summary:
Bronze medal featuring picture of fallen soldier being comforted by a female 'Australia'. This medal was produced and sold to raise funds for of Australians and New Zealanders maimed in World War I. Artist Dora Ohlfsen was one of Australia's foremost medallists in the first half of the 20th century, although she principally lived in Europe and was better appreciated outside Australia. She worked as a nurse for the Red Cross in Italy during World War I, and was deeply moved by the experience.

This medal is one of the most remarkable of all Australian commemorative medals. Its sensitive, romantic treatment of its subjects recalls European, and particularly French, medallic art. It was made at the artist's expense.

Dora Ohlfsen was a multi-talented lesbian sculptor, musician and a writer who lived and worked in Italy, Russia and England. She was one of Australia's foremost medallists and sculptors in the first half of the 20th century.

Part of a Museum Victoria collection documenting the material culture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities in Victoria. In 2005 the Museum joined with the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the State Library of Victoria to conducted a survey of GLBT material culture in public and private collections in Victoria. Refer Kate Davison (2006), Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender Material Survey: Project Report 2006.
Description:
Copper medal featuring picture of fallen soldier comforted by a woman. The reverse features outline of a soldier with gun and inscription.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 60 mm (Width), 59 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: death mourning, fundraising, wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918, lesbian gay, art medals, making history - gay lesbian collection
Themes this item is part of: Dora Ohlfsen, Artist & Medallist (1877-1948), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Project, Museum Victoria, 2005-2006, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: military history
Series: Australian Commemorative Medals
DateEra: 1919 AD
Obverse Description: Woman, representing Australia, mourning a young man, laurel branch in the foreground
artist's name DORA OHLFSEN 1918 struck half off the flan below the soldier.
Reverse Description: ANZAC/IN ETERNAL/REMEMBRANCE./1914-18./DORA OHLFSEN Outline of a soldier with gun
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: 'DORA OHLFSEN 1918' struck half off the flan.

Reverse: 'ANZAC/IN ETERNAL/REMEMBRANCE./1914-18./DORA OHLFSEN'.
Shape: round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: Australia, 1919
Artist: Dora Ohlfsen, Australia, 1918
References: Carlisle (1983), reference # 1914-18/1
Bibliography:
  1. [Article] Sheedy, K. A. 1989. Dora Ohlfsen - The Forgotten Heroine of Australian Medallic Art. Australian Coin Review. 302: 18-21.
  2. [Book], Leslie Carlisle, Australian commemorative medals and medalets from 1788, B & C Press, Sydney, 1983
  3. [Catalogue] Jones, Mark. 1979. The Dance of Death: Medallic Art of the First World War.

Comments

Michael Hogan Posted on 03 May 2010 3:46 AM
I have a medallion of Boston Cardinal William Henry O'Connell dated 1911 and it appears to have Dora's name behind the figure and below the word Boston. Would this be one of her works?
Discovery Centre Posted on 05 May 2010 10:23 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
It's possible, Michael, as Ohlfsen worked internationally and created a large number of medals. And obviously the signature is a big clue. If you live in Victoria, you may wish to consult the following item at the State Library of Victoria, which contains a wide range of materials concerning the artist's life and work: http://bit.ly/doLDXY

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