The Road Less Traveled




Artist Dates



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Date of Work

ca. 1976


35mm slide, digitized 2020


James Smith Pierce Collection: Folk and Outsider Image Collection




UND Art Collections Repository

Artist Bio

Born in Brooklyn, New York, James Smith Pierce received his PhD in art history from Harvard University. During his career as a professor, Pierce also became an accomplished artist, whose artworks were included in important exhibitions (including a show on land art at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC) and books on contemporary earthworks and site-specific sculpture. Pierce was also a photographer, exhibition curator, and art collector.

Additional Information

Paul Matthias Dobberstein (1872-1954), was a German-American priest and architect. Born in Germany, he was originally educated at the University of Deutsch-Krone in Germany. He then came to the United States and became an ordained minister at the age of 24 in St. Francis, Wisconsin. His most well known piece, the Shrine of the Grotto of Redemption, was created in West Bend, Iowa, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City. The Shrine of the Grotto of Redemption is actually a series of grottos that Paul Dobberstein created, featuring other pieces of art. At nearby churches, he created fountains that featured beautiful nativity scenes within them.

Dobberstein created work beginning in 1912 and continued until his passing in 1954. Throughout Iowa and Wisconsin, Dobberstein was generous in his grotto making, creating several ornate grottos in community churches.

Because Father Dobberstein was an ordained minister, he held deeply religious beliefs that influenced his work. This piece features a plaque with a bible verses and a statue of Jesus.

Image is provided for educational purposes only. © University of North Dakota. All rights reserved.

Condition Notes

35 mm slide in excellent condition.


Image Location