Herbert Gurschner

1901 Innsbruck - 1975 London

Herbert Gurschner, the nephew of the two sculptors Gustav Gurschner and Emil Gurschner, was born on August 27, 1901 in Innsbruck. In 1917 he attended the School of Applied Arts in Innsbruck, where he also exhibited two oil paintings that same year. One year later, he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and studied - among others - with Franz von Stuck. In 1924, Gurschner married the English noblewoman Ella Dolores Erskine, who arranged for important contacts with English artists and collectors and paved the way for many of his successful exhibitions in England. At the time, he also exhibited in America and was represente in the touring exhibition "Tiroler Künstler" in Germany. Gurschner traveled extensively from 1926 to 1928 to Italy and captured his impressions in numerous watercolours. In 1928 he was invited to the Venice Biennale as a guest exhibitor in the Italian pavilion. His exhibition at the Fine Art Society, at which numerous museums and private collectors acquired his paintings, has made a significant contribution to his breakthrough in England in 1931. In his home town Tyrol, he was not only celebrated as an artist, but also as a promoter of tourism. As a young, already successful and internationally skilful artist, he found access to aristocratic, diplomatic and business circles, which enabled him to travel extensively and lead a carefree life by commissioning their portraits. After the Second World War, which Gurschner witnessed from the French Riviera, he applied for British citizenship and was admitted to the English army, where he worked as a set designer for the military theatre. He there also met his second wife, Brenda Davidoff. In the post-war years, Herbert Gurschner exhibited his works only sporadically and worked mainly as a set designer for various theatres in London, where he died in 1975.