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Blumann, Elise Margot Paula Rudolphina Hulda (1897 - 1990)

16 January, 1897
Parchim, Germany
29 January 1990
Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Elise Blumann was an important figure in the Perth, Western Australian, art world.


Elise Schlie was born on 16 January 1897 at Parchim, Germany, to Paul Schlie, cavalry officer and civil servant, and his wife Elfrida. Elise was the youngst of their three children, and, after attending school in Hamburg, was taught painting by Baron Leo Lütgendorff-Leinburg at Lübeck. She then studied in Berlin from 1917-20 under impressionists Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth, worked teaching art, and exhibited for the first time in Hamburg in 1921.

Elise married Dr Arnold Blumann, a wealthy industrial chemist, in 1923. After spending brief periods in the Netherlands and England, the couple migrated to Australia, arriving in Fremantle, Western Australia, on 4 January, 1938. The Blumanns built a modernist house (since demolished) at Nedlands, and Elise Blumann's first paintings completed in Perth were a series of views of the Swan River. These were exhibited, along with a selection of nudes which caused a scandal, at her first Australian exhibition at Newspaper House, Perth, in August, 1944.

Blumann's outback travels also found expression in her painting, and reflected her interest the quality of nature and the individual's relationship to it. She was a member of the Perth Society of Artists, lecturing and holding art classes for adults and children, and staged an exhbition of her work in Paris in 1950. After the death of her husband in 1970, Blumann returned to Germany for five years, and upon returning to Perth, held exhibitions in local galleries, and then at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 1984. Elise Blumann died at Nedlands on 29 January, 1990.

Sources used to compile this entry: Bromfield, David, 'Blumann, Elise Margot Paula Rudolphina Hulda (1897 - 1990)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2006,; Bromfield, David; Adams, Bruce; Goddard, Julian, Elise Blumann: Paintings & Drawings 1918-1984, Centre for Fine Arts, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, 1984; Polizzotto, Carolyn, Approaching Elise (contains interview and diary excerpts), Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Fremantle, Western Australia, 1988; Quin, Sally, Approaches To Modernism: The Art Of Portia Bennett, Elise Blumann And Iris Francis 1930s To 1950s , Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, 2004.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • [Biographical cuttings on Elise Blumann, artist, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals], Bib ID 1745775; National Library of Australia. Details

National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection

  • Elise Blumann interviewed by Barbara Blackman [sound recording] , 21 January 1986 - 3 February 1986, ORAL TRC 1974; Blumann, Elise Margot Paula Rudolphina Hulda (1897 - 1990); National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection. Details

Lisa MacKinney

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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