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 Dora Gordine  (1906 - 1991)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: sculpture, portrait, figure, relief

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Dora Gordine (b. 1895 or 1898 or 1906 - 1991)

A portrait, figure, and relief sculptor, she worked in stone as well as bronze.

Gordine was  the youngest of four children born to Morduch ("Mark") Gordin and Esther (née Schepschelevitch) in Liepaja, Latvia at a time when it was still part of the Russian Empire.  Two of her siblings, Nicolai and Anna, died at the hands of the Nazis in Tallinn, Estonia in 1941.  Another brother, Leopold, escaped and lived in London until his death.

She went to Paris, France to study music and art but sound found sculpture to be her calling.  In 1925, she worked as a painter on a mural for the British Pavilion at the Decorative Arts Exhibition which gave her the means to cast a bronze for exhibition at the Beaux Arts Society.  The following year she was invited to exhibit at the Salon des Tuileries where her design of the head and torso of a Chinese philosopher earned enthusiastic reviews.  Between 1929 and 1935 she sculpted bronzes for the Town Hall in Singapore. The Leicester Galleries in London presented Gordine's sculpture in a solo show in 1928.  All her work was sold, including the Javanese Head, bought by Samuel Courtauld for the Tate Gallery collection.

In 1936, Gordine married the Hon. Richard Gilbert Hare and the couple lived at Dorich House in London.  Through her husband's contacts, she gained numerous society portrait commissions and during the 1940s/50s, she exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, the Society of Portrait Sculptors and elsewhere.

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 1949.  Many of her bronzes had humorous titles such as Mischief, Great Expectations, and she occasionally did exotic or erotic work.  Gordine traveled and lectured in America, working in Hollywood in 1948 and revisited the USA in 1959.

She fulfilled  public and corporate commissions including for the Holloway Prison in 1948 and Esso Oil Company in 1960.

Her husband died of a heart attack on 1966 and she ended her career in the 1970s.  The couple had no children and Gordine died at Dorich House in 1991.

Some Exhibitions:
Salon de Tuileries, Paris (1926, 1933)
Leicester Galleries, London (1928, 1933, 1938, 1945, 1949)
Royal Academy of Arts (1937-1941, 1944-1950, 1952- 1960)
Battersea Park Arts Council (1948)
Fine Art Society, London (1986)
The London Jewish Museum of Art (2006)
Kingston University, London (2009)

Sources include:
Wikipedia and various internet sources
Information provided by Michael Reif.

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