The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Bierschwale, Edna Helen (1907–1975)

Glen E. Lich Biography Entry

Edna Bierschwale, an Impressionist painter, was born on July 4, 1907, in Comfort, Texas, the daughter of Robert and Martha (Flach) Bierschwale. After an education in Comfort, Fredericksburg, and San Antonio, she enrolled at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans, where she engaged in formal art studies. In 1931 she returned to Texas, joined the San Antonio artists' colony, and pursued a career in art. Her principal media were watercolors and clay; her style ranged from impressionistic in the former to art deco in the latter. Though not widely known today because her works remain in private collections, Bierschwale combined as well as if not better than any of her contemporaries the style of international impressionism with the idiom of the Hill Country. Her paintings are lyrical and nuanced. A woman of striking beauty and refinement who spent her last decades in her ancestral home in Comfort, Bierschwale was the subject of compelling portraits by Etienne Ret and Xavier Gonzales, among others. She died on January 20, 1975, in Comfort and is buried in the Comfort cemetery.


  • Visual Arts
  • Painting
  • Women

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Glen E. Lich, “Bierschwale, Edna Helen,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 04, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: