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A4257-2 Bust, Charles Ulm, plaster / bronze, made by Thelma Dahle, Australia, 1929-1939. Click to enlarge.

Bust of Charles Ulm

Made by Dahle, Thelma in Australia, Oceania, 1929-1939.
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


Object No.


Object Statement

Bust, Charles Ulm, plaster / bronze, made by Thelma Dahle, Australia, 1929-1939

Physical Description

Shoulders and head bust of Charles Thomas Phillippe Ulm. Plaster, painted with bronze. The bust has been cast from life and is depicted wearing a coat, shirt and tie. The bust is sitting on a cylindrical plinth that flares out towards the base. Pieces of the plaster have broken off around the base of the plinth. Two of the pieces of plaster that have broken off have been retained and kept in a box with the bust.



675 mm


500 mm


350 mm



The busts were made by Thelma Dahle in Australia between 1929 and 1939.

Cite this Object


Bust of Charles Ulm 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 May 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Bust of Charles Ulm |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 May 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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