Traveling east from St. Louis, Missouri, some fifty miles into rural Illinois, one approaches O’Fallon in St. Clair County. One is immediately struck by the absence of an historical marker noting this small town as the birthplace of Bernard Fuchs, recipient of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame award for 1975.
Bernie’s professional art training began at the School of Fine Art at Washington University in St. Louis. His style was developed in the studios of Detroit, where his illustrations for automobile ads were an immediate success. This popularity was noted by the magazine publishers in New York, whose assignments brought Bernie national recognition. This success prompted a move to Westport, Connecticut, the artists’ colony on Long Island Sound. Bernie had married his childhood neighbor, the former Anna Lee Hesse, and they have three children; Derek, Ellise and Cindy.
He has been awarded a total of three Gold Medals from the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibitions. He was elected “artist of the Year” by the Artists Guild of New York in 1962 and received the Hamilton King Award from the Society in 1966.
He has had several one-man shows in New York and Westport and was part of the United States Information Agency’s Graphics Exhibition in 1963.
Fluid and evocative are words often used to describe his style. Bernie adds, “it took a long time to develop that, to really study and control looseness.” He used this style very remarkably in a recent reportage portfolio of English pubs for Lithopinion, a magazine which has allowed him a free hand to travel and paint such varied events as the races at Longchamps in Paris and the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. His work has also taken him to London, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, including Cuba.
A member of the Society of Illustrators since 1959, Bernie has served on several juries for their Annual Exhibitions. He is frequently asked to jury exhibitions around the country and to lecture as well. He was part of the Society’s lecture series in 1973 and 1975.