Stefans Bercs (1893 - 1961)
(1893.9.4 in Riga - 1961.22.7 in Florence, Oregon, USA, buried in Rose City cemetery, Portland) - metal artist, jeweler.
He learned the trade of a jeweler from the goldsmith A. de Heij. He supplemented his knowledge at the Art Academy in Hanau, Germany. 1939. acquired Ljas Amatn. camera master diploma. Participated in exhibitions since 1923. Independent artists' units member (from 1923). Latv. artist associations member (from 1947, Germany), Oregon Art associations member (from 1952, USA), Latv. fine arts unions member (USA; Sr. of Engravers, Goldsmiths, and Silversmiths). 1920-44 working in his workshop, which he expanded in 1939 on the basis of the Order of V. Miller. Made badges, orders, insignia, monograms, etc. engravings in gold and silver, also using enamel according to his own and other authors' designs. Author of the Lya bullion mark (1925). Comp. tables for calculating precious metals in alloys. B. is the author of unique works of art - paintings and sculptures executed in metal. Made paintings in forged copper (''Lāčplēsis'', ``The Departed'', ``Ancient Latvian Castle''), in engraving (silver) with an emphasized linear composition (''Daughter of the Sun'', ``Night'') and paintings, in which the color has been replaced by metal. These paintings are made with a metal joint (''Strength and beauty'', ''Love and hate'') and a combination of metal plates (''Miracle Bird'', ''Blow, winds!'', ''Bridge'', "Nightmare", "Victim") method. He also made portraits ("Self-Portrait"). He used both pure metals and alloys of various metals to realize his ideas.
B.'s work is characterized by two thematic and stylistic lines - one related to folk art and traditions, the other - to world art experience. He also made jewelry (with ethnographic ornament in silver and enamel technique, both from one precious metal in ridged technique, as well as in combination with semi-precious stones) and decor. wall plates (''Where there is work, there is bread'', 1937, awarded with a silver medal at the 1st Ljas fine arts exhibition; ''Dūku, dūku, balodīti...'').
In 1944 he went into exile to Germany, from 1950 - to the USA. Working in the company "Zell Bross". In emigration, he continued the previous stylistic and thematic trends, however, the expression of the image is more abstract. In Germany, he also made quill drawings and paintings in tempera colors ("Vidzeme jūrmala", "Snowy firs"), as well as ink drawings ( "Svetozols", "Ryheaps"). Important works are the coat of arms made for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (with enamel in relief) and a white marble clock with precious stones (circa 1912), medals "For work and dedication" ( 30s, after the design of E. Dzenis), ''For excellent merits'' (1932, after the design of S. Vidbergs).
Participated in 37 international exhibitions (in France, Belgium, Russia, Germany, AVS). 1925 Awarded the "Grand Prix" at the Spring Salon in Paris. The works are in private collections in Lja and abroad, in the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art, in the Lja Art Museum, Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation and Ljas history museum.
Art and architecture in biographies. Resp. ed. A. Wilsons – Riga, 1995 – 1st volume.