Morris Berd

Life Dates

Morris Berd (1914 - 2007), born in Philadelphia, PA, was a longtime instructor at his alma mater, the University of the Arts and a mentor to several generations of Philadelphia artists. His own teachers included Franklin Watkins, who also taught Doris Staffel, Nora Speyer, and Sideo Fromboluti. Berd worked as a commercial illustrator in the early years of his career, but at the age of thirty-three, he spent a year in Mexico where he painted “pseudo-Joan Miró and pseudo-Pablo Picasso paintings.” The experience prompted him to break away from commercial work. Upon his return to Philadelphia in 1948, he began to achieve success as a fine artist when Dr. Albert C. Barnes acquired a painting, Nature Study (1947), from his first solo show; the work is now in the collection of the Barnes Foundation.

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