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Bernie Fuchs (American, 1932-2009)


Also known as:  Bernard Fuchs; Fuchs, Bernard

Birth Place: O'Fallon, IL


Who is painter Bernie Fuchs?

Bernie Fuchs was a painter and commercial artist whose work often featured famous figures from history, music, and the sports. Several of his pieces have been commissioned by the US Postal Service as stamps. He also provided the illustrations of Carol Burnett for the title cards of her television show. Fuchs produced several children’s picture books, most notably Ragtime Trumpie and Carolina Shout! He produced these alongside the author, Alan Schroeder.

Fuchs career started in advertising, but he quickly moved to illustrations for magazines, most notably McCalls, Redbook, The Ladies Home Journal, and Sports Illustrated. He was the youngest illustrator ever to be elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. In 1991, Fuchs was given the Sport Artist of the Year award by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives. One of his books with Schroeder, Ragtime Trumpie, was given a citation as a Notable Children’s Book in 1989 from the American Library Association.

What kind of art does Bernie Fuchs make?

Bernie Fuchs was a painter who primarily worked in oil on canvas. Unusually, he lost three fingers on his painting hand in an industrial accident early in life, and as such had to teach himself how to paint. He had almost no formal art training. Early in his career, Fuchs produced advertisements for New Center Studios of Detroit. Much of his work from this time centered around automobiles -- but it would be in the late 1950s when Fuchs started to produce the portraits for which he would become well known. Starting in magazines, Fuchs parlayed this work into a career painting the portraits of notable people from pop culture and history. He was commissioned by the US Postal service to create a series of portraits featuring famous folk musicians like Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Josh White. His work featuring John F Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, and Katharine Hepburn are some of the best-known portraits of those individuals.

How did painter Bernie Fuchs get started?

Bernie Fuchs was born on October 29th, 1932 in O’Fallon Illinois. His family was poor, and initially Fuchs wanted to get work as a trumpet player, but an industrial accident early in life led to him losing three fingers on his right hand. He became a commercial artist, even though he was almost completely self-taught. Needing some formal training, he enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis and graduated in 1954. He moved to Detroit where he began working for New Center Studios, the most prestigious studio in the city, working alongside other notables like Chic Albertson and Donald Silverstein. Even among this prestigious crew the young Fuchs stood out. By the late 1950s, Fuchs had started his own studio, The Art Group, who primarily serviced the city’s automakers. He began illustrating for magazines soon after and was quickly named to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame -- the youngest illustrator to ever receive that honor.

How much are Bernie Fuchs paintings worth?

Bernie Fuchs paintings are extremely reasonable, selling anywhere between $2,000 for a minor work to over $13,000 for a major one. The most ever paid for a Bernie Fuchs painting is $13,800 for the piece Canyon Solitude (Date not given) which sold on March 31st, 2012. Heritage Auction has an extensive relationship with Bernie Fuchs pieces, with over 40 items sold at auction. The most ever paid for a Bernie Fuchs painting at a Heritage Auction is $9,375 for the advertisement Cadillac Coupe de Ville Stopped on Nantucket Street (date not given) which sold on October 15th, 2019.

Where to buy Bernie Fuchs paintings for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Bernie Fuchs paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.

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