Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery


Exhibition open through to February 29, 2020.

Heri Bert Bartscht: 100 Years is a retrospective exhibition of work by the Dallas sculptor Heri Bert Bartscht (b.1919, Breslau, Germany, d. 1996, Dallas, Texas) on view at the University of Dallas Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery until February 29, 2020. 

Bartscht was a successful sculptor and founded the sculpture department at the University of Dallas where he taught for twenty-nine years. For the first time in almost two decades, a significant collection of the artist’s work has been brought together.

Bartscht and his wife at their joint exhibition, Dallas, c.1962.,The Univeristy of Dallas Archives
Bartscht had an impressive command of a range of materials, such as stone, clay, bronze, metal (forged and welded), and a variety of woods, all of which can be seen in this exhibit.On display are some of his best known mythical and religious themed works such as CharonSt. Francis, and Moses, which showcase his romanesque-inspired blocky, semi-naïve figurative style. Also featured are works such as Portrait of  Gus Gwin and  My Mother which demonstrate the sculptor’s superb proportional realism. 
About the Artist
Born a century ago in Breslau, Germany, Bartscht spent six years as a conscripted soldier during the horrors of WWII. As a young man he became a refugee, unable to return to Russian occupied East Germany, so he took up sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Bartscht was successful at his studies and received the title of “Meisterschuler,” (masterstudent) and received the City of Munich Scholarship award twice. After his studies he emigrated to America with his wife, fashion designer Waltraud Bartscht.

Bartscht quickly garnered acclaim in his new home of Dallas, in 1954 he received the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts annual art exhibition award, only a year after his arrival. A natural cultural leader, Bartscht became involved with the local art community, founding and directing the Dallas Society for Contemporary Arts, the forerunner of the Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1961, Bartscht was asked to establish a sculpture program at the University of Dallas, which led to a twenty nine-year teaching career at the university. In 1981, Bartscht was asked to give his personal papers to the Smithsonian Institute’s Archives of the American Art.

Bartscht's sculptures on display at the Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery. Left to right: Votive Madonna,1958, glazed ceramic, courtesy of Lyle and Sybil Novenski, Saint Sebastian, 1955, cedar, courtesy of Michael and Elise Chitty, and The Virgin, 1960, terra cotta, courtesy of the University of Dallas Permanent Art Collection

Bartscht was a devout Roman Catholic and did not shy away from powerful Old and New Testament themes in his work. Bartscht’s education in Bavarian art and craft, as well as his understanding of architecture and design, made him a popular choice for the new Methodist, Lutheran, and Catholic Churches being built in the region. Bartscht gained a reputation for making “church art” and he was involved in many liturgical projects, completing over fifty commissions for churches across the Southwest. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to see his significant artistic contribution to the Church of the Incarnation, only a short walk from the gallery.


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