australian colonial history
meg dillon
© Meg Dillon 2008
Australian Colonial History
Frieze in Hepburn Springs Cottage

Master Printmakers of 1920s & 1930s

Victor Zelman

Early Victor Zelman

Very little personal information exists in the public domain about Victor Zelman. There appears to be no collections of letters, sketchbooks, notebooks or other personal memorabilia in any major library or archives. Only one photograph exists of him as an adult. Because of this the following comments can only offer a brief overview of some aspects of his life but can provide no particular insights into his personal life or ideas.Victor lived in Carlton with his parents as a child and attended the Kings College Fitzroy, probably as a weekly boarder until the family moved to Hawthorn after which the brothers attended local government schools. All the brothers were taught musical instruments by their father and various tutors. Victor mastered the viola and violin and performed in chamber orchestras as a young man. Hepburn Springs became important to Ernest and Victor’s lives when they married into the Borsa family who had property throughout the district including a brewery in Daylesford that was owned by Battisto Borsa the family patriarch. Ernest married Blanche Borsa in 1903 and Victor married her sister Clara in 1907. Gertrude Borsa, another sister, managed the guest house, Bellinzona, in Hepburn Springs that was burnt down in 1906 during the disastrous fires that destroyed almost all of that village. The Borsas rebuilt it as an elegant holiday retreat for middle class Melbournians and opened it again in 1907. It is thought that Victor established his studio and house in Hepburn Springs around 1910, while maintaining his Melbourne residence in the suburb of Canterbury. The small holiday cottage still stands and was an important continuing connection for Victor and his wife with the Italian residents of the district, some of whom were guests at their Canterbury home. Victor and his wife moved permanently to the cottage in Hepburn Springs in the early 1940s, where his wife died in 1943. From then on Victor lived alone, mostly in his studio until his death in 1958.
Influences > Influences >
© Meg Dillon 2008
Australian Colonial History
australian colonial history
history of australia

Master Printmakers of

1920s & 1930s

Victor Zelman

Early Victor Zelman

Very little personal information exists in the public domain about Victor Zelman. There appears to be no collections of letters, sketchbooks, notebooks or other personal memorabilia in any major library or archives. Only one photograph exists of him as an adult. Because of this the following comments can only offer a brief overview of some aspects of his life but can provide no particular insights into his personal life or ideas.Victor lived in Carlton with his parents as a child and attended the Kings College Fitzroy, probably as a weekly boarder until the family moved to Hawthorn after which the brothers attended local government schools. All the brothers were taught musical instruments by their father and various tutors. Victor mastered the viola and violin and performed in chamber orchestras as a young man. Hepburn Springs became important to Ernest and Victor’s lives when they married into the Borsa family who had property throughout the district including a brewery in Daylesford that was owned by Battisto Borsa the family patriarch. Ernest married Blanche Borsa in 1903 and Victor married her sister Clara in 1907. Gertrude Borsa, another sister, managed the guest house, Bellinzona, in Hepburn Springs that was burnt down in 1906 during the disastrous fires that destroyed almost all of that village. The Borsas rebuilt it as an elegant holiday retreat for middle class Melbournians and opened it again in 1907. It is thought that Victor established his studio and house in Hepburn Springs around 1910, while maintaining his Melbourne residence in the suburb of Canterbury. The small holiday cottage still stands and was an important continuing connection for Victor and his wife with the Italian residents of the district, some of whom were guests at their Canterbury home. Victor and his wife moved permanently to the cottage in Hepburn Springs in the early 1940s, where his wife died in 1943. From then on Victor lived alone, mostly in his studio until his death in 1958.