One Artist on Five Continents

The Life of Elisabet Delbrück

by Margaret Sutherland (Author)
©2012 Monographs VIII, 197 Pages
Series: Germanica Pacifica, Volume 7


Elisabet Delbrück (1876-1967) was one of a number of Germans who came to New Zealand in the late 1930s. Unlike most, she had not intended to emigrate but was touring the country when World War II broke out. She was at first forbidden to leave and then chose to remain in Wellington. Her thirty years in Mahina Bay on Wellington harbour had a profound effect on all who knew her. This study aims to discover why she was so remarkable. It explores her early life, her marriage into a prominent German family and her qualification as an artist. She turned this into a profession, teaching and exhibiting on five continents in the 1920s and 1930s. She always travelled alone, observing the customs and beliefs of the people she met. In Australia and New Zealand in 1938 and 1939 she was wrongly suspected of spreading Nazi propaganda. Her story is also the story of a heroic group of Wellingtonians who helped her in the 1940s and valued her friendship till her death.


VIII, 197
ISBN (Hardcover)
Family background Wellington Dutch East Indies South West Africa art qualifications South and Central America Heringsdorf Resort
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2011. VIII, 196 pp., num. coloured and b/w fig.

Biographical notes

Margaret Sutherland (Author)

Margaret Sutherland is a senior lecturer in German at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research and teaching interests include German literature from the 19th to the 21st centuries, crime fiction, film and the influence of German migrants on New Zealand. Her most recent publication is an essay on Gerhart Hauptmann’s The Weavers.


Title: One Artist on Five Continents