Margaret MICHAELIS, No title [Rudolf Michaelis] Enlarge 1 /1


Austria 1902 – Australia 1985

  • Australia from 1939

No title [Rudolf Michaelis] c.1932 Description: Close-up of man wearing collar and tie
Place made: Berlin, Berlin state, Germany
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Primary Insc: No inscriptions
Tertiary Insc: Stamp verso, centre left, 'CONSELLERIA DE DEFENSA / Censura de Guerra / GENERALITAT DE CATALUNYA'
Dimensions: printed image 23.2 h x 17.3 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of the estate of Margaret Michaelis-Sachs 1986
Accession No: NGA 86.1384.136
Subject: Portrait: male

A few months after moving to Berlin in 1929 Margarethe Gross met Rudolf Michaelis, ‘Michel’, an archaeological restorer at the Berlin State Museum and a committed anarchist. From late 1931 until February 1932 the couple lived apart while Rudolf was on an archaeological dig in the Middle East.

During their separation Grete (as she was known to those closest to her) and Michel wrote frequently to each other. They also exchanged various objects such as photographs, maps and dried flowers. Margaret Michaelis kept these with her until the end of her life, storing all the correspondence sent her in a large envelope on which she’d written Michel in large black letters.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra