Tina Haim-Wentscher

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Tina Haim-Wentscher
Tina Haim

(1887-12-17)17 December 1887
Died21 April 1974(1974-04-21) (aged 86)
Occupation Sculptor
Spouse(s) Julius Wentscher  [ de ]
Parent(s)David Leon Haim
Rebecca Mondolfo

Tina Haim-Wentscher also: Tina Haim-Wentcher (17 December 1887 – 21 April 1974) was a German-Australian sculptor.



Tina Haim-Wentscher was born in 1887 in Constantinople, the daughter of Serbian merchant David Leon Haim and his Italian wife Rebecca Mondolfo. The family belonged to the Turkish-Sephardi Jews. The family came to Vienna [1] and in 1893 to Berlin, [2] where Tina Haim studied sculpture at the Lewin-Funcke-School in Charlottenburg in 1907 and 1908, and then ran her own studio. [3] From 1912 to 1914 she studied in Paris, where her works attracted the interest of the sculptor Auguste Rodin. With a bust of her sister, her first work, she participated in an exhibition of the Berlin Secession . A long-standing friendship linked her to the sculptor Käthe Kollwitz.

In 1914 she married the Berlin painter Julius Wentscher  [ de ] (1881-1961). From 1921 the couple undertook study trips to Greece, Italy, Egypt and a longer trip to Bali and Java in 1931/32. From 1927 to 1931 she was a member of the Association of Berlin Artists. In 1933, they decided on the advice of Käthe Kollwitz not to return to Germany because of the deteriorating situation for Jews. They stayed in China (1932–33) and Indonesia (1933–34) and in around 1935/36 in Siam and Cambodia, 1936-37 in Singapore [4] [5] and 1936/40 in Malaysia.

With the outbreak of World War II, the couple was deported in 1940 as "Enemy Aliens" to Australia, where they were interned until 1942 in Tatura, Victoria. After release they settled in Melbourne, received Australian citizenship in 1946, and anglicized their name to "Wentcher". Tina Haim-Wentcher joined the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, and in 1958 she was awarded the "Interstate Sculptors Prize" of Newcastle, New South Wales. Her charitable work for the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne led to a close friendship with the philanthropist Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (1909-2012), the mother of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Tina Haim-Wentcher died in 1974 in Melbourne at the age of 87.


In 1920 the art patron Henri James Simon gave the Egyptian Museum of Berlin, among other pieces, the bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the most famous exhibit of his collection. Simon had financed the excavations of Ludwig Borchardt in the Egyptian Amarna and brought the artifacts to Germany. Heinrich Schäfer, director of the Egyptian Museum, greatly appreciated the works of Tina Haim. He commissioned her in 1913 to make a detailed copy of the bust. She made two copies in artificial stone for Wilhelm II, German Emperor and James Simon. In the early 1920s Haim-Wentscher once again made a model bust of Nefertiti, which was used for many years for molding all subsequent replicas. [6]

Tina Haim-Wentscher together with her husband designed the artistic decoration of the Malaysian pavilion for the Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938 in Glasgow. The decorations were made in the form of ten dioramas with life-size stone figures in front of landscapes.

Sculptures by her are in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Art Gallery of Ballarat; and McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Victoria, among others.

Selected works

Grave Levison Hamburg Grab Levison (Haim-Wentscher) FriedhofOhlsdorf (3).jpg
Grave Levison Hamburg

Selection of works produced in Germany prior to 1931

Selection of works produced in South East Asia 1931—1947

Selection of works produced in Australia 1947—


See also

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  1. Haim D. L. in: Vienna address book, 1891, part 3, p. 501. "Haim, D.L. Ges. d. F.D. & R. Haim & D. Leon, Einkaufsmagazin"
    (Haim, D.L. Proprietor of D. & R. Haim & D. Leon, Shopping Magazine).
  2. D. L. Haim. in: Berlin address book, 1893, part 2, p. 451 "D.L. Haim, aus Konstantinopel, Türkische u. persische Teppiche u. Stickereien, direkter Import."
    (D.L. Haim, from Constantinople, Turkish and Persian carpets and embroidery, direct import).
  3. Haim-Wentscher, Tina. in: Berlin address book, 1930, part 2, p. 1072 "Bildhauerin (skulptor), Dahlem, Bastianstr. 6 E." (until 1933).
  4. Distinguished Artists In Singapore - Husband And Wife As Painter And Sculptress. In: The Straits Times , Singapore, 12 February 1936, p. 14 (with a photo of the couple)
  5. Sculptor In The East: Mrs. Wentscher Comes To Malaya. In: The Straits Times, Singapore, 20 February 1936, p. 1 (with a photo of the artist)
  6. "Historische Replik der Nofretete. Nach einer Vorlage von Tina Haim" (in German). Pressemitteilung der Gipsformerei – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. December 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2016. PDF
    ("Historical replica of Nefertiti. After a model by Tina Haim." in: press release by Gipsformerei (Replica workshop) of the Berlin State Museums)
  7. picture for example: Icon of Berlin and Egypt. 100 years of Nefertiti. Egypt Centre, Swansea University (directly to the object)
  8. picture and biography Center for Jewish History, Digital Collections, Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  9. picture collection of NGV, Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  10. picture Hong Kong Heritage Museum (directly to the object), Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  11. Peers, Juliet: Wentcher, Tina (1887–1974). (see further reading)
  12. McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery

Further reading