Sculptor Dora Gordine was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Liepāja, Latvia on 8 June 1895. The family moved to Tallinn in Estonia in 1912 and she made her exhibiting debut in February 1917 at the third exhibition of the Estonian Art Society. In 1920, as White Russians, the Gordine family were encouraged to leave Estonia and she moved first to Berlin, and then, in 1924, to Paris, where she studied formally as a sculptor, exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries and commissioned her own studio. In 1930 she moved to Singapore and in 1931 travelled through Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand. She held solo shows at the Leicester Galleries, London in 1933 and at the Flechtheim Galleries in Berlin and Düsseldorf. She settled in England in 1935 and following her second marriage to the Hon. Richard Hare (1907–1966), a scholar of Russian art and literature, a new social world with many commissions opened up to her. In 1936 she designed Dorich House (now a museum and part of Kingston University), which still houses her studios and a gallery, with an apartment above. In 1938 she was hailed by art critic Jan Gordon as ‘possibly the finest woman sculptor in the world’; she became a prominent member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and a founding member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors. She remained a major presence in European sculpture until the late 1960s, known for her sensitive portrait heads, public commissions and both large and small-scale figure studies. She died in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England on 29 January 1991. Her work is represented in UK collections including Dorich House Museum, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Tate, and the Whitworth.