About Maurice Bernson

Maurice Henry Bernson was born in Canadian, Texas on December 1, 1920 to Mabel and Albert Bernson. He was the oldest of four siblings, including Albert Jr., Claude, and Joyce.

Maurice graduated from Canadian High School and in 1940 began studies at West Texas State College (now West Texas A&M University) in Canyon, Texas under the direction of professor Isabel Robinson.

During World War II, Maurice served with the Air Force in the 394th Bombing Group and the 584th Squadron. He was a crew chief and painted elaborate designs on many planes. He was stationed in France and Germany.

After the war, Maurice began his formal art studies again at the Farnsworth School of Art and the Amagansette Art School in Sarasota, Florida. Maurice studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan from 1952 to 1954.

Following his studies, Maurice worked as an independent artist/designer in the panhandle area of Texas, wintering in Florida when he could, and spending a brief period in New York City (1956-57).

He painted in oil and watercolor, crafting his own custom frames; sculpted in wood, metal, and found materials; designed and built fine cabinetry; designed and supervised the building of a mid-century modern home; and completed many interior design projects.

Maurice also served as the set and lighting designer for 12 productions of The Players Theatre in Sarasota, Florida between 1966-69.

Way before his time, Maurice converted the family's former gas station into a studio and added a second floor, loft-like living space to the repurposed building. His amazing live/work space was located at the corner of N. 2nd Street and Elsie Avenue in Canadian, Texas.

Maurice spent his last few years at the Abraham Memorial Home in Canadian and passed away from complications related to Parkinson's Disease on February 8, 1998.

His work is in the homes of many collectors and in the collections of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, The Citadelle Art Foundation and the River Valley Pioneer Museum.

NOTE: Some online sources describe Maurice as Canadian. This is incorrect. He was a US citizen who lived and worked in the town of Canadian, Texas in the United States.