Posted 26 Jul 2011
by Eva Duldig
'The great Austrian sculptor Anton Hanak would be delighted that a marble mask by his favourite student Karl Duldig is included in this amazing exhibition. After all, he chose this work to be shown in an international exhibition in Munich. He could not, however, ever have imagined the subsequent chequered history that enabled the work to survive the Second World War and become a treasure in the collection of The Duldig Studio in Melbourne. MASK 1921 by Karl Duldig (1902-1986) is beautifully displayed in the middle of the last room of the exhibition and seems to express self-effacing amusement to be sharing the limelight with such luminaries as Klimt and Hoffman, both personal friends and colleagues of Anton Hanak, Duldig's beloved mentor.
As Karl's daughter it is wonderful to see his work included in this exhibition. Our family fled from the Nazis in Vienna in 1938, and eventually arriving in Australia in 1940 as "enemy aliens." After being interned in Tatura, my father joined the Australian army and we settled in Melbourne. We were naturalised in 1946, and after the war Karl Duldig became the art teacher at Mentone Grammar School and my mother, Slawa, taught at St Catherine's for many years. This show has so many treasures it is a delight to be part of it.'