Ami Karina (1898-1979)


Ami Zimmerdahl was born in Denmark in 1898. When her family moved to Copenhagen, she became a pupil of Fred Aamodt's art school, and won several scholarships. These enabled her to travel, first to London to train under Leonard Richmond, and then to Australia with her new husband, fellow student Franz Ragnar Zimmerdahl in the early 1920s.

He became editor of the ex-patriot Scandinavian newspaper, Norden, where she too began to contribute. Her freelance work gradually extended to other newspapers and magazines, principally the Sydney Mail, but also children's book illustrations. She exhibited with the Royal Art Society, the Australian Art Society, and the Society of Women Painters, but her's was the only work to be singled out for review by the French art journal, Revue du Vrai et du Beau.

Ami Zimmerdahl divorced in 1931, and changed her name to Ami Karina. In 1933, she returned to London and held an exhibition in the Cooling Gallery in New Bond Street. But her declining health meant this effectively marked the end of her short career, which had begun, professionally, only in 1924. A retrospective exhibition was held at the Roy Miles Gallery in 1990.