Hagen Haltern was born in western Germany in 1947. He studied art in Cologne, Germany from 1964-68 and then taught drawing and etching. From 1972-1977 Haltern continued his arts studies, this time at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf, following which he became a professor of art at Brigham Young University until 2011.
In 2009, the Harris Fine Arts Center displayed an exhibit featuring the work of Haltern's 1982 art class. These students described the exhibit as an homage to Haltern, who had taught their class eight hours a day, four days a week. Many of the students expressed deep admiration for Haltern's spiritual and professional teaching approach.
As a professional artist his work has been shown at the Harris Fine Arts Center at BYU, at the Springville Museum of Art, and many other venues. In 2012 Haltern and fellow artist Jared Harlow brought their collaborative project, Visionism, to the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo. Haltern passed away in 2014.