This bust of Charles Ulm was cast from life by the Australian artist Thelma Dahle. Using a technique she kept secret for over 40 years she made life masks and sculptures of famous Australians including; Kingsford-Smith, Donald Bradman and Jack Lang. This bust was made shortly after their historic flight from America to Australia in 1928 but was stolen in 1939. It made headlines again in 1979 when it was rediscovered by curators at the Powerhouse Museum. After consultation with Thelma Dahle it was agreed this bust and its companion piece, a bust of Kingsford-Smith, should remain the Powerhouse Collection. As Mrs. Dahle made no copies of these busts it is amazing that this important part of Australia's artistic and cultural history should resurface after 40 years.
Geoff Barker, March, 2007