Hagen Haltern’s Vision of Spirituality, Beauty and Divine Inspiration
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Daniel L BrewsterSeptember 15, 2016
I was so saddened to recently read that Hagen Haltern passed away a few years ago, but I am thankful to this wonderful tribute to one of my favorite teachers at BYU. I was not an art major, but I took Introduction to Drawing from him in 1982. It was easily one of my favorite classes. Hagen was a brilliant teacher in every way--like Sidney Poitier in "To Sir With Love." His students loved him and trusted him because he had all the attributes of an ideal teacher--he was intelligent, caring, encouraging, kind, immensely competent, and he had a wonderfully understated sense of humor. He once crumpled a large piece of newsprint, tacked it on the wall, and had us draw it. When I was done he looked at my drawing, smiled at me and said with good-natured feigned awe, "This is approaching the masters!" He explained that the master painters loved the challenge of painting drapery and clothing, and he told me I must sign it. I later had it framed and it is a treasured reminder of him. Like Hagen, I am a convert to the Church. I was delighted to read that our conversions had similarities--I, too was baptized in 1969 (I was almost nineteen years old), and like Hagen, I also knew by the second discussion that the Gospel message was true. My only concern was that I might not be able to live up to all the requirements of being a member. But I reasoned that since the Holy Ghost told me it was true, Heavenly Father would bless me and help me keep my covenants and keep the commandments, and He has. I recently read the book "Gaze into Heaven: Near Death Experiences in Early Church History." It contains wonderful accounts of the beauty of the spirit world, the architecture, landscaping, the music, everything there is beautiful beyond description. The spirits there are busy, everyone is happy, and I have no doubt that Hagen is busy and happy too, discovering and creating new mediums and new art to add to the beauty there. I look forward to the joyous occasion when we will all see him again.
AnnApril 2, 2015
Thank you for sharing some of the thoughts and creations of this inspiring man with us.
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