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Depression letter

Posted by on November 30, 2012


Newsletter of the Goldfields Historical

and Arts Society Inc. No.A9641

Museum at 75 Broadway Dunolly 3472

John Tully editor

No. 564                                                                                                                    November 2012



Many people came upon hard times during the 1930s depression. This letter is from one of them.  It is written in pencil on an old scrap piece of paper. It was found with a penny in a tobacco tin at Waanyarra. The letter is in the Dunolly Museum collection. The donor kept the penny.

Dunolly 5 May 1935

Any body finding this I might be dead.

I built this stone house by myself as a recreation. I was or am a student of art. I have been very unlucky lately and I hope this penny brings a change for me and to you.

Rupert Hutter

40 years of age a born Swiss. 

Johann Rupert Hutter had been born in Zurich in 1895. He preferred to use the name Rupert. He was, as he said, an artist. Prior to and after this letter he entered his paintings into the Archibald Prize and was a finalist many times. These were:-

1933 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1937 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1938 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1939 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

1940 Rupert Hutter – H S Elvin esq

1944 Rupert Hutter – self portrait

He probably never stayed in the Dunolly – Waanyarra area for very long and as the economy improved he found work in Melbourne. When war broke out he sent a letter to the Australian Navy Office with an idea for dealing with submarines. It is not known if his idea was ever adopted. In September 1941 he became naturalised.

Rupert Hutter showed some of his paintings in the Victorian Artist’s Society Spring Exhibition of 1946. Here he was described as a lesser known artist who deserved a mention. Hutter remained in Melbourne where he died in 1961 aged 65.

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