Gallery Artists > Ernest Berke Biography :

Ernest Berke (b. 1921)  Artworks >>

Earnest Berke is known for his traditional Western paintings, illustrations, and sculptures. Unfortunately not much is known about the early part of his life. He most likely was born in New York City in 1921. Son of a metal worker, Berke left high school without graduating. After serving in the Air Force in WWII, he worked as a commercial artist making slide films for three years. Later he went on to produce drawings for Sears, which they used in newspaper ads.

As a hobby, Berke began handcrafting Indian articles using the traditional methods of the Native American tribes her studied. His interest in Indians evolved into paintings. He improved his painting technique with the advice Harold Von Schmidt, a famous illustrator, gave him.

By the 1960’s Berke had gained a strong following, and his paintings and sculptures were selling well. In 1963, he was commissioned to write and illustrate a children’s book on Indians. At this time he was living on Long Island, NY and spending several months a year in the West. He traveled the mountains, deserts and reservations making colored studies and taking photographs. Once he returned East, Berke would devote a good deal of time studying Native American material in libraries and museums.

For his bronze work, he used the “lost wax” process. In painting, he limited himself to one work at a time, a matter of five or six months including research. In the 1970’s Berke made his new home in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area. Earnest Berke in most noted for specializing in Indians and for his talent working in many mediums.Source :

*Note: information presented on is subject to errors, omissions, price changes or withdrawal.