USF to show, sell part of Keltsch art


A woodcut piece by local artist Betty Fishman is part of the Keltsch art collection on exhibit and for sale at the University of Saint Francis.

Maurice Keltsch was a good judge of art, said friend and artist Betty Fishman.

One of Fishman’s woodcut pieces is among the more than 30 works that will go on exhibit at the University of Saint Francis. Those works will be for sale, with some of the proceeds going to support USF creative arts student scholarships. Keltsch’s family has partnered with the school on the project.

This exhibition will have an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Goldfish Gallery in the Rolland Center for Art and Visual Communication at the University of Saint Francis, 2701 Spring St., Fort Wayne. The exhibition will continue through Sunday, March 19. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Goldfish Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

Keltsch’s art collection has been part of the Fort Wayne landscape for years. Keltsch, who owned several pharmacies for over 40 years, died Aug. 22.

“For anybody who will have an opportunity to see it, it’s a pretty remarkable show,” Fishman said. And a last opportunity, she said.

Fishman was the director of ArtLink for 18 years. Keltsch served as president of the board for two years, she said. “I knew him well because he was a neighbor and a friend,” she said. She does not recall the story behind the woodcut that Keltsch purchased. “He liked my art and he bought it,” she said.

In a statement, the university said, “Keltsch and his family amassed an eclectic collection of artworks both locally and from around the world. Notable pieces include works by Norman Bradley, George McCullough, Victor Vasarely, Marc Chagall and many others.”

Keltsch supported the local arts, including ArtLink, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Arts United, and the USF School of Creative Arts. He earned the Sagamore of the Wabash award in 2004.

Fishman said she appraised Keltsch’s collection about 10 years ago and has helped to plan the exhibit. “Since his death I’ve gone over lots of his work with his daughter and it’s an excellent collection,” she said. “He had a good eye, bought a lot of good pieces — not only mine but a lot of other people’s — and I think it’s going to be a very interesting exhibit.”

Visit for more information on the USF School of Creative Arts exhibits and events.