Showing posts with label Alfred Tischbauer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alfred Tischbauer. Show all posts

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Alfred Tischbauer- Scenic designer

Many years ago I found this lovely print of George Street Sydney, bought it, and put it on my wall.
It was titled, George Street Sydney, 1883 from the original oil by Alfred Tischbauer at the Dixson Galleries.

Last year, I purchased a box of memorabilia which originated with Jack Ricketts, a scenic designer. In the box were many letters some of them were from...Alfred Tischbauer.

Tischbauer, known as 'Tish ' to his friends was a French born artist who was involved in the Paris Commune. According to legend he was deported to New Caledonia and from there came to Australia He was born around 1854 and arrived in Melbourne in 1879.

He began his career as a teacher and fine artist in Sydney, but by the late 1880s was working for theatrical manager Alfred Dampier as a scenic designer.

The Frenchman was not only an artist , he was also a romantic chap. In Melbourne he had an affair with his boss's maid. The poor girl fell madly in love with the exotic artist, and when he didn't return her feelings, she committed suicide. During the subsequent enquiry, Dampier and his family stuck by Tish .

The good relationship between Tish and Dampier didn't last, and in 1893 Dampier declared himself bankrupt and amongst his creditors was Alfred Tischbauer who was owed 591 pounds in salary.

Tischbauer never got over Dampier's betrayal.He worked for a while in Australia as a teacher and then departed for America with his wife in 1903. He worked as a designer for some American managers but didn't enjoy the work.

In 1909 he wrote the above letter to Jack Ricketts.

"I learnt the death of our dear friend A D ( Dampier) as I receive newspapers from Sydney pretty regularly. So that now the chances to recover some of my poor earnings are gone for ever."

It seems that Tish had a long memory and held a grudge. In his other letters he seems educated, articulate, somewhat depressed but always generous.

Tish's wife returned to Australia in 1922 and she was described as his widow. It is assumed that Tish died in the US shortly before her return.