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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Captain Ulm, 1932

Enid Fleming

cast plaster, patinated (including base: 47.5 cm x 27.5 cm depth 27.5 cm)

More images of this artwork

Charles Ulm (1898-1934) began work as a clerk in a stockbroking office after he left school, but enlisted under a false identity in the 1st Battalion of the AIF just before his 16th birthday. He was amongst the first troops to land at Gallipoli, where he was wounded; in 1918, serving on the Western Front, he was wounded again. After the war he returned to Sydney to pursue his vision of establishing successful commercial airlines, and proved a capable and energetic administrator. When he co-piloted the Southern Cross from California to Brisbane, he had not yet obtained a pilot's licence. However, he went on to make several more record-breaking flights, both with Kingsford Smith in Southern Cross, and in command of his own aircraft, Faith in Australia. Ulm's Airspeed Envoy Stella Australis went down in the sea between California and Hawaii. His body was never found.

Enid Fleming was a pupil of the sculptor Rayner Hoff at the East Sydney Technical College, during the period in which Hoff and a group of mainly female students were working on Sydney's Anzac Memorial. Fleming was never a professional artist, but she was a close friend of Kingsford Smith's, and made several portraits of him, as well as a bas-relief of the Southern Cross. In 1932, when this bust was made, Kingsford Smith was knighted for services to aviation, but in business he was almost back to where he started, selling joyflights at ten shillings a trip and establishing an ill-fated flying school. Enid Fleming lived in Sydney all her life, and although she gave up sculpture, she continued to produce art in various mediums for her own pleasure.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Sydney Airports Corporation 2001
© Estate of Enid Fleming

Accession number: 2001.187

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Enid Fleming (age 24 in 1932)

Charles Ulm (age 34 in 1932)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Sydney Airports Corporation (3 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 (cast 1955-56) Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 (cast 1955-56) Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 (cast 1955-56) Daphne Mayo
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett, c. 1950 (cast 1955-56) Daphne Mayo

In the round

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2009

Andrew Sayers outlines the highlights of the National Portrait Gallery's display of portrait sculpture.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm, 1961 William Dargie
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm, 1961 William Dargie
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm, 1961 William Dargie
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm, 1961 William Dargie

The Wonder Years

Magazine article by Sarah Hill, 2001

Sarah Hill introduces the portrait busts of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm by Enid Fleming.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.