Gallery Artists > Bernard Gerstner Biography :

Bernard Gerstner (1925 - 2017)  Artworks >>

I have the birth date of Bernard Gerstner in my records as 1925. He is over 90 and in frail health and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I used to love to talk to Bernie every year as he was a happy guy. I even bought a couple small watercolors from him over the years. One of his artist friends told me on Bernie’s 80th birthday “Damn, Bernie’s been 80 years old for 20 years, and now, he finally is.” And it was true – he really looked of indeterminate and unchanging age for decades. Last time I saw him was in 2010 at his studio on Rocky Neck in Gloucester. He didn’t show up the next year. He told me tales of his days on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in WWII. They called him “Paints” and he painted all the airplane kills on the ship and pretty ladies on planes. He was Painter 1st Class. The Hornet had loads of aces. It is reported that she “had a pretty distinguished career, being involved in the battles for New Guinea, Iwo Jima, The Battle of the Philippine Sea and the infamous Marianus turkey shoot, the Battle for Leyte Gulf and was part of the attacks which eventually sank the Japanese battleship Yamato. She was on the front line for a solid 16 months and came under air attack around 60 times. Her aircraft destroyed about 1,400 Japanese aircraft with only the Essex beating this record. 10 of her pilots attained "Ace in a Day" status, 5 kills in one day.” A biography of Gerstner on the website of Jason Grow Photography states that he was born and raised in Rochester, New York, studied applied arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and made many painting trips to Cape Ann, Massachusetts. In Rockport, he met his wife, Shirley Francis, and they moved to Rocky Neck, where they raised four children and had a gallery of his work open until 2010. Source

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