King's College London
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The Mond Bequest at King's College London: A Celebration

The bust of Frida Mond

Frida Mond by DabisFrida Mond by DabisThis bronzed plaster bust of Frida Mond, standing 73 cm high, bears the date 1886 and the signature 'A. Dabis'. It was presented to the College in 1930 by Lady Gollancz, widow of Sir Israel Gollancz, formerly Professor of English at King's College London, who was the niece of Frida's lifelong friend Henriette Hertz.

It gives a somewhat idealized portrayal of Frida, who was in her early forties when she sat for it (compare the approximately contemporary family photograph beneath).

Frida Mond in later lifeFrida Mond in later lifeAnna Dabis (1847-1927) was a fellow German émigrée and one of Frida's many artistic protégés.

She was born on the island of Rügen in northern Germany, but came to England at a relatively early age following the death of her parents.

She studied under Edouard Lanteri at the National Art Training School in South Kensington, and exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1888 and 1895, showing a total of ten pieces (including a portrait bust of Lanteri) over that period. Like Frida, she was a member of both the English Goethe Society and the Folklore Society.

In 1896 she published a translation of some of the fairy stories collected by Ernst Moritz Arndt, under the title Fairy Tales from the Island of Rügen (London: D. Nutt), and dedicated the volume to Frida.

Book of W DabisBook of W DabisHer younger sister, Therese (1853-1906), read Classics at Newnham College Cambridge and was Lecturer in Classics at RoyalHolloway College from 1887 to 1899. Her elder brother Wilhelm (b. 1845) seems to have worked as a librarian in Berlin in the late 1860s and early 1870s before emigrating to the United States.

A number of books from Frida's library, which formed part of the bequest to King's, and are now in the Maughan Library Special Collections, bear the ex libris of W. Dabis, and dates from the 1840s to the 1860s; these must originally have belonged to Anna's father and brother, and passed to Frida via her.

References:

  • Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts: a complete dictionary of contributors and their work from its foundation in 1769 to 1904, Vol. II (H. Graves and G. Bell 1905), 229
  • King's College London Calendar, (Gifts and Benefactions), 1930
  • http://www.rhul.ac.uk/research/crgr/files/projects/dabis.pdf *please note this link is no longer active but is kept here for reference purposes*
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