On the centenary of her birth, the Boundary Gallery has the pleasure of introducing wartime works by Olga Lehmann.
Born in Chile of British parents in 1913, Lehmann studied at the Slade School of Fine Art where she specialized in portraiture under Gwynne Jones, and theatre design under Vladimir Polunin.
During the 1930s Lehmann painted murals in hotels and scenery at Covent Garden. She also worked as an illustrator for various publications and had a solo exhibition at Heals Mansard Gallery. She also participated at the London Group exhibition and the NEAC.
Between 1939-1946, she executed a number of ‘war sketches’ and paintings; some are in the Imperial War and the RAF Museum.
Most importantly, she received a commission to paint more than one hundred murals capturing the essence of British life, by depicting scenes of sporting events, fairgrounds etc. She did all this in six weeks at the Burlington complex in Wiltshire, used as an aircraft factory (this top-secret site was decommissioned only in 2007.)
She also joined the film industry in Britain from the early 1940s as a ‘scenic artist’, eventually designing sets and costumes and painting portraits of actors and actresses, including Dirk Bogarde, Peter Sellers, Marlene Dietrich, and Ralph Richardson.
Olga Lehmann exhibited widely, including mixed shows at the Wright-Hepburn Webster Gallery in New York, the National Theatre London, the Heals Mansard Gallery, the London Group, and the NEAC.
Her solo exhibitions include the AIA Gallery London, St Catherine’s College Cambridge, Heffer’s Gallery Cambridge, and Canning House London.