Fuchs, known for his magazine illustrations, portraiture, and postage stamps, was born in O’Fallon, Illinois. His works for Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, Redbook, TV Guide, and Sports Illustrated were appreciated for being wholesome and good-natured. Following this successful work, he became known for his portraiture. His presidential portraits included John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. Other portraits of well-known figures included those of Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Jack Nicklaus, Bob Hope, and Katharine Hepburn.
Fuchs originally planned to be a musician, but an industrial accident resulting in the loss of three fingers on his right hand ended this ambition. Fuchs instead enrolled in art school at Washington University in St. Louis. In the 1950s, he found illustration work in Detroit’s thriving auto industry. As his reputation flourished, he relocated to New York City where his work was in demand.
Fuchs belonged to three groups of illustrators: the Westport school; the Famous Artists School, which offered correspondence courses; and the Illustrators Workshop. Despite this prominence, Fuchs became bored in the field and branched out to illustrating children’s books and portraits for The New Yorker’s profiles section. He also designed eight U.S. postage stamps.
In 1975, Fuchs was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame alongside Normal Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and James Audubon.
Portrait(s) by Bernard Fuchs
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