CAE Classes at Ola Cohn Centre - Fairies’ Tree (1931-1934), Fitzroy GardensOla Cohn M.B.E played an integral role in Melbourne’s artistic scene.

Born in Bendigo in 1892, Ola developed an interest in the arts at an early age, going on to study sculpture at the Bendigo School of Mines and Swinburne Technical College.

After graduating, she made the journey to London, where she took up a scholarship at the Royal College of the Arts under the tutelage of Henry Moore.

In 1937 Ola purchased Taylor’s Livery and Stables and renovated the dilapidated East Melbourne property, turning the upstairs hayloft into her home and the stables and coach into her studio. The home quickly became a gathering place for Melbourne’s artists and sculptors.

A pioneer, Ola achieved significant success throughout her career. Some of her most famous sculptures include Fairies’ Tree in Fitzroy Gardens and Head of a Virgin, now in the National Gallery of Victoria.

A highly awarded artist, in 1952 Ola took out the Crouch Prize — a first for a sculptor, before being appointed an O.B.E for services rendered in service of art in 1964.

Ola was a true patron of the arts in Australia. When she died, she bequeathed her home in East Melbourne to the CAE, so that we could continue her legacy.

Today the Ola Cohn Centre delivers a range of classes to the CAE community, like floristry, shibori and screenprinting.

We are exceptionally proud to have been chosen by Ola to carry out her wishes and thankful for her enormous contribution to arts in Melbourne.

Check out our range of our Arts and Craft Short Courses offered at CAE.