Born in Bendigo, Ola Cohn studied at the School of Mines Bendigo
under A. T. Woodward and at Swinburne Technical College before
attending the Royal College of Arts London where she studied under
the sculptor Henry Moore and at the London School of Arts and
Crafts. In 1930 Cohn returned to Australia where she
continued to sculpt but also took up teaching.
In 1952 Ola Cohn became the first sculptor to win the Crouch
prize with this rendering of the Old Testament patriarch
Abraham. Carved from mountain ash, the work features Abraham,
the 'first to turn to God' cradling his son Isaac, whom he is
willing to offer as a sacrifice at the Lord's command.
With its simple and formal treatment that shows an understanding
and respect for the medium, Abraham was chosen by the judge Louis
McCubbin for "its fine concept and beautiful execution".