Henry Kritzler, '38 (BardCorps)


Henry Kritzler, '38 (BardCorps)


Henry Kritzler


Download A print of Kritzler's drawing of Ludlow and the lyre tree (11.1 MB)

Download Coming to Bard during the Depression (6.1 MB)

Download The "Tewksbury transition" (9.2 MB)

Download Teaching vs. learning at Bard (13.0 MB)

Download Bard's liberal student body (5.4 MB)

Interviewee Role


Significant Quote

"I have often advised young people in times of economic upheaval--go back to school, sweat it out, and improve yourself until it's over."


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Class Year


Academic Program

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing; Biology

Other Program

Biology Major


Don Moore, '67


Henry Kritzler came to Bard in 1934, after studying art at the Pratt Institute, as an “act of desperation" in order to avoid the economic hardships of the Depression. At Bard he studied biology rigorously for four years; after later receiving his Ph.D from Iowa University he returned to Bard to teach from 1961-66. Speaking of his time as a student, Kritzler recalls in depth the political maneuverings of Bard's professor of biophysics Harold Mestre who, with the help of a board member, ousted Tewksbury from the presidency. Kritzler remembers being part of a group of students who went to visit Tewksbury to get the story of why he left. Upon returning to campus the group started a student riot against Mestre, who succeeded Tewksbury. He describes his full load of studies in addition to working six part-time jobs; the days of mandatory chapel; and the reptilian, "loathsome looking [students] lolling around" who nevertheless had great academic potential. In later years, Kritzler excelled as a professor of biology at Bard, while simultaneously indulging his artistic inclinations through paintings of the campus and Hudson Valley. These paintings were later auctioned off to members of the alumni community. Of his many years at Bard, Kritzler says that the college gave him a "great advantage" and that "it was marvelous!"

Henry Kritzler died in 2002.


Vasil Obreshkov, Donald Tewksbury, Frank Somers, Harold Palin, Harold Mestre, Emily Sottery, John Schultz, Charlie McManus '38, Bill Meyer '35, Rev. Dudley Barr, Bruce Perry, Robert Kelly, Stanley Reichell, Richard Clark, Dick Griffiths, William Boast '25, Reamer Kline


Bard College

Interview Date


Interview Duration


Rights Management

The use of any image or audio from the Bard College Archives without permission is prohibited.

bc_kritzler_print_001_res150.tif (11411 kB)
A print of Kritzler's drawing of Ludlow and the lyre tree

Coming to Bard during the Depression.mp3 (6226 kB)
Coming to Bard during the Depression

The %22Tewksbury transition%22.mp3 (9434 kB)
The "Tewksbury transition"

Teaching versus learning at Bard.mp3 (13285 kB)
Teaching vs. learning at Bard

Bard's bohemian lifestyle and %22the reptiles%22.mp3 (5513 kB)
Bard's liberal student body

Henry Kritzler, '38 (BardCorps)