John Berkey Art

COUNTER: 175,363 total hits since this page was posted in October 2008

Welcome to the most extensive fan website for JOHN BERKEY Artwork


Born August 13, 1932 / Died April 29, 2008


There are *1677* John Berkey paintings/images on this site, plus 90 or so enlarged details of illustrations — a total of 1700+ images — and more to come as I find them!

Most other Internet websites just show 20-30 of John Berkey’s really great spaceship paintings — I have done my best to track down his other more “rare” art — my thanks and appreciation goes to Demi Berkey for providing many pieces that are on this website that came from John’s files.


Found in May 2024:  Berkey’s DEATH STAR FLOOR LAMP that came out in 2019!

Found in December 2023:

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Found in September 2023: 

BERKEY’s unused painting for the 1977 BLACK SUNDAY movie!!!

 Found in April 2023:  A 1964 BUCYRUS Crane….

It was in this newspaper promo photo!

From John Berkey’s Files in Jan 2023:

*(It took me 10+ years to finally get this SUPER SHIP book cover!!)

BELOW:  1972 & 1973 US Steel ads!

Found in Jan 2023:  ORCA prelims!

Found in October 2022:

ABOVE:  Argosy Oct 1966

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**9 new BERKEY’s**!!!  In March 2022 Michael Friedlander sent me several things from his files….

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Found in Feb 2022:

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4 calendar pages found in June 2021:

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2 ARGOSY illustrations found in July 2020:

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April 2020 Up-date

STAR WARS Rise of Skywalker Blu-ray Special Features — 2 of BERKEY’s originals are on the wall behind J.J. Abrams!

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FOUND in August 2019:

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Found in January 2019!

A huge 28×42 Annapolis Campus art print!

3 *new* 2019 small-format Berkey calendars are available on AMAZON for about $10 each:

Other Recent Finds……

Some of Berkey’s CHINESE SF book covers:

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Berkey’s Giant INDY 500 Art Print!

Located in June 2017 / The largest crowd scene he ever painted!!

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John Berkey’s 1961 CONSERVATION Calendar

Found in May 2017 / 11 of these pages have been unseen for 55 years!

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2 Pages from Berkey’s 1976 Union Calendar

Found in April 2017 / Unseen for 40 years!!

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These 2 Berkey movie prelim paintings were sold at Heritage Auctions in April/May 2017:

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2 Calendar Prelims that came from the estate of Jim Deneen, an artist who also worked for Brown & Bigelow

Located in January 2017

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Bucyrus-Erie Prints found in Sept 2016

Click on the Bucyrus-Erie page link!


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Berkey’s double-wide DUNE poster / March 2016


I got the one sheet back in 2012, and thought I’d never find a copy of the double-wide version — but I finally got one!

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1960 NEW IDEA Tractor ad art! / March 2016

*(NOTE:  Berkey did a 1962 NEW IDEA Tractor Calendar that is posted elsewhere on this website.)



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20 “Space Studies” available / Dec 2015

Go to


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Maple Tree Original recently sold on eBay:



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1974 White House Calendar!

*(Located in Sept 2015)



Two years later in 1976 they re-issued the same basic calendar with new art of the American Flag — (not totally sure that Berkey did the flag, but it looks like he might have)….


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Did BERKEY do this NASA Flyer art?


Berkey did art for NASA in the 1960’s, and that is when this flyer was done for the Kennedy Space Center….


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Found at a garage sale in Portland, Oregon in August 2015!


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Berkey’s Plane Crash Prelim Art


The finished illustration for 1991 Reader’s Digest:


The same collector owned this Space Shuttle Prelim for a G.E. ad:


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1973 Texaco Calendar Card

(Located in June 2015)


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Berkey’s 1976 Union History Calendar!

(Located in February 2015)

To see all 12 months, go to the CALENDARS NEW Page

1976 03

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Berkey Art auctioned on Heritage in April ’15
Including this super-rare OTIS ELEVATOR prelim!
OtisPreBuilding web

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I wrote a brief article about John Berkey’s brilliant car art / published in February, 2015

HoodR JBweb
HoodR JBpg1
HoodR JBpg2
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NEWLY FOUND “Milestones of Progress” Calendar

To view all 4 pages, go to the CALENDARS NEW Page


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George Lucas owns 3 Berkeys, including the cover of STAR SF #1

For the very first time we can see that this is the angle Berkey painted this painting (because on the website we can see Berkey’s signature) — and the book cover printed it sideways!

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Berkey’s 1972 POSEIDON Movie Prelim


And here are 2 more Poseidon prelims by Berkey:


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1965 Berkey Calendar

1965Jim web

Located in September 2014 — it took me 5 years to locate this calendar — to see all 4 pages, go to the CALENDARS NEW Page!

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“New York City in the 22nd Century”
This and other Berkey originals were for auction on

NYC22nd web

*(NOTE:  I think this painting was mistakenly identified as being by Berkey — it previously sold on Heritage Auctions as being by Boris Vallejo — but I think it is by CECIL KIM in Korea, here is another painting by CECIL KIM that matches the style of “New York City in the 22nd Century”:


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Berkey’s 1993 Road To Gold

Most of the editions of this pb were printed on embossed silver foil, which caused everything but the white airplane to go very dark…

After 5 years of searching I finally found a “normal” printing of this book from a seller in Australia that shows the beautiful blue of the water and the details of the aircraft carrier!!


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Berkey’s NAVY Textbook Cover

Back in the 1980’s this textbook cover was handed out at NAVY Recruitment tables at colleges & universities…

NavyBkCov web

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Berkey Art found at GOODWILL Store!

A sharp-eyed Berkey fan found this original Berkey painting entitled “Snow Squall At Dusk” at a Florida GOODWILL store for only **$5**!!

SnowSquall web

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Merry Christmas 2013
A 1990’s ROAD & TRACK Christmas Card!


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AT&T Ad Art Original

(Date Unknown — if anyone has this ad or brochure, let me know!)

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A 3rd B&B Large History Poster:
“Fire Fighters” with 15 illustrations

FirePoster web



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Berkey’s 1998 EMERGENCY Game Cover

(…Chad Jasper helped me find this in November 2013…)

A 2nd wider version with the title lettering placed higher:
…brings to mind Berkey’s 1974 TOWERING INFERNO poster art…..
Berkey’s signature is visible on this version:

The Original Art:
EmergencyART web
Preston Palmer was the art director for the 1998 EMERGENCY Game, and here’s a 2013 pic of him with his Berkey original on the wall…
Emergency PrestonPalmer2013

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Berkey’s 1984 SPERRY Ad

Located November 2013 — when I showed it to Michael Friedlander he said: “Never saw this one before!!”

SperryCopter web

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Berkey’s AIRPORT ’79 Press Kit Art

Airport79Folder web

The prelim was printed on the back of Card #86:

Airport79 C86

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A rare Berkey LOCKHEED Poster

LockheedPic web

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1980 TEXACO Calendar

It took me 4 years to find it, but I finally located the 17th and final Berkey TEXACO Calendar in September 2013!

To see all 12 pages, go to the CALENDARS NEW Page

1980Cover web

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Berkey’s 3rd 1989 CONTROL DATA Ad!

(This ad was found in July 2013)

ConData3 web
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Berkey’s 1964 GENERAL TIRE Calendar!

GenTire64Jim web

This calendar was located in June 2013 by Sue Williams at an estate yard sale in Perryville, Kentucky….

To see all 4 pages, go to the CALENDARS NEW Page

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More Berkey art was up for auction on including this 1985 Jet Cock-Pit illoe for DISCOVER Mag!

1HA cockpit

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Berkey’s “Harvest Time” TUCO Puzzle

I heard about this puzzle 4 years ago — and I FINALLY got one!!

*(More pics on the Berkey Puzzle Page)

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This Berkey KING KONG original recently sold for $15,625 on !


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A newly discovered 2nd prelim for Berkey’s
Monorail Poster in POPULAR MECHANICS


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An Unpublished Berkey – Lockheed Ad Art

JamesDetry web

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Berkey’s “Space Map of Europe” Prelim


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My 2012 X-mas Card to the Berkey family

DemisCard web

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76 Berkey Prelims for sale!!!
Go to



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Brian Berkey loaned me his 2004 copy of
NEST #26 A Quarterly of Interiors art magazine!

Back in 1984 a rich Saudi arms dealer payed $31 million for a custom-designed DC-8 private airplane done ala “Star Wars,” and he commissioned John Berkey to do 4 paintings — the magazine article shows 2 of those Berkey paintings:

Nest26 1web

Nest26 2web

Nest26 3web

Nest26 4web

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I finally got Berkey’s 1984 DUNE poster from a movie poster dealer in Switzerland!!!
(…It only took me 28 years to finally see this European poster…)

DuneJim web


Here’s a close-up of Berkey’s signature…

DuneSig web



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My 1979 Art Room Pic

As I’ve mentioned before, I started collecting John Berkey’s art in 1976/1977 when his King Kong & Death Star posters came out — and here is an old 1979 photo of my art room with those posters up on my walls!

1979artroom web

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Brian Berkey visited! / October 20, 2012

Brian came by our house and we had a great 4-hr chat, this was the very first time we’ve gotten together!

BrianJim web

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Greg Pro visited John Berkey in 1995

Berkey GregPro web

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17 John Berkey Racing Cars!!

When I showed this poster to Brian he told me he used to have this poster up on his wall at home when he was a kid!

RaceJim web

It’s a rare 1960’s B&B poster with 19 illustrations on it!!






Berkey’s Race Car Engine Illustration:





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Berkey’s 1982 “Great Outdoors” Calendar

To see all 6 pages, go to the CALENDARS NEW Page!

1982 3of6web

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“Mistaken Welcome” Prelim


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John Berkey’s
1981 “Great Outdoors” Calendar!

To see all 6 pages, go to the CALENDARS NEW Page

1981 4of6web

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1980 JBweb

1980 Calendar / All 6 pages are on the CALENDARS NEW Page

1980 3web

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John Berkey’s
“Great Moments in American History” Poster


LewisClark web

Panama web

Normandy web

SpaceCap web

*(Individual scans of these 15 illustrations are available upon request.)

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1976 SF Book Club Flyer with 3 Berkeys

SFBC 3web

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16 Berkey Originals were for auction on
including this unpublished TV GUIDE cover!

MtR web

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The Last 2 Car Ads (of 9 total)

John’s sister Janice told me:
“In case you’ve never heard, John was drawing cars from a VERY early age. When we lived in Aberdeen, South Dakota he would take his wagon downtown and pick up all the color folders on what was our auto row. When he got them home, he would try to draw them around the perimeter of the ads. This continued until he was in school in Excelsior, the drawing of cars, I mean. I remember that like it was yesterday…”



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Berkey Navy Art Print

navyart web

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6 More Berkey Car Ads
From 1971/1972 — Unseen for 40 years!





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Berkey’s KING KONG Billboard in Manhattan / 1976


And Berkey’s King Kong on SEINFELD

seinfeld kingkong

seinfeld kong2

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!!!**FINALLY GOT IT**!!!
Berkey’s 1983 John Deere Factory In Space
Published in the JD JOURNAL in 1983


Here’s the John Deere logo on the spaceship:

jd logo_web

(When John sold this original he painted over the John Deere logo, so until we found this magazine the owner never knew it was done for John Deere!)

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Berkey’s ad for PEARL a 1978 TV mini-series



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Steve Rude
the cartoonist/painter visited Berkey in 1985 & 1997


sr berkey85

sr berkeylady

Steve Rude’s 1997 Visit
John did this sketch and gave it to Steve:


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More of the 9 Berkey Car Ads

These are from 1971-1972


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Below: Berkey’s art for a 1983 Construction Company Ad


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Berkey’s self-portrait “Caves of Steel” Original seen at 2012 San Diego Comic Convention…
(selling price unknown, pic by Ken Birdwell)…

irobot sandiego

CavesPose web

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Ken Birdwell’s Home Theater Room

Ken owns these 2 Berkeys and had them enlarged into art panels in his high-tech home theater… nice!…

kentheater web



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“The End of the Earth” in DISCOVER Magazine July 1987


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lavaty web

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John’s Portrait of his Sister Janice

janice web

John did this portrait of his sister Janice Berkey Knapp in 2006, and it was the last portrait John ever painted before he passed away.

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John Berkey’s 1962 “Water” Calendar
Donated by John’s sister Janice in May 2012

See all 12 pages on the CALENDARS NEW Page!


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In Memory of John

It’s been 7 years since John Berkey’s death on April 29, 2008 — I’m just glad that he didn’t die in 1994 when he had his heart emergency! He was in a coma for 2 weeks, but he recovered and John lived another 13-14 years!

From the text in the below 1995 PREVIEWS interview:

“A year ago yesterday, October 1st, I had an operation on a dissected aorta… I was in a coma for a couple of weeks after the open-heart surgery and, then, in the hospital for two months. They told me the recovery time would be around two years and not to expect much… I actually painted most of the new pictures (around 50 for Card Set #2) in the last four months. It’s been such a relief to get back to work and be able to paint. I didn’t do the new pieces specifically for the card series, I just did them for fun.”

Question: “Did going through a near-death experience change your perspective on painting?”

Berkey: “Yes it did. Painting is more pleasant for me now… I know it’s not going to go on forever (laughter). The experience has changed the way I think about art work… I was surprised at how painting was so easy and effortless. In the past, I used to worry about certain aspects of painting and I’ve noticed that they are no longer factors in my work (laughter). And that’s helped. After all, I am painting fantasy. Even though the creations in my artwork look like they’re real, they don’t exist…”

John lived another 13 years, and continued painting — and passed away in 2008, seven years ago.

The 1995 Card Set #2

The 1995 PREVIEWS Magazine Interview


(If you’d like a larger jpeg of this article so it’s easier to read, just contact me…)

They also printed this ad for Card Set #2:


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1989 Steamboatin’ Magazine

The magazine printed Berkey’s art print on it’s cover:


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John Berkey’s Double-Mirror System

In the early 1960’s Berkey invented his ingenious double-mirror system over his drawing board so he wouldn’t have to continually carry his paintings into the bathroom to look at them in the mirror — the larger mirror over his head would reflect the painting into the smaller mirror in front of him so he could view it as if it were about 8 feet away…


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John Berkey’s BUCYRUS ERIE Calendar Art

See all 18 paintings on the BUCYRUS ERIE Page of this website!


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Illustration Mag #36

Illustration Magazine #36 did my 40-page article on John Berkey!


Read how the article was put together:


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A neat bit of “BIG NEWS”…

In June 2012 Demi Berkey contacted me and said that she would like to send me a “Thank You Gift” for all I’ve done to help keep John’s work alive — she asked to know which genre I would like to have it from, and she would look around to find one of John’s small paintings or a prelim…

I thought about it for a few days, and then wrote back and said that I would really like something from the “futuristic” genre since the OTIS Ads had been such a large part of my early appreciation of John’s art…

Demi wrote back a day or two later and said that she thought she found the “perfect” piece of John’s art for me…

And here is what arrived in the mail 2 days later…

otisart jimsaysthanks

This was Demi’s inscription on the back of the art:

otisdemi web

And here is how I framed my Berkey OTIS Airport Prelim, I wanted to look at it and see pics of all 9 of the OTIS ads:


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This cruise ship disaster recently happened…


Here’s Berkey’s cruise ship disaster illustration for his 1979 Beyond the Poseidon Adventure book cover:

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The History of this Website

I began collecting Berkey’s art back in 1976 when I saw Berkey’s King Kong posters and the 1977 Death Star poster, and then his TV Guide illustrations and a couple of his Otis Elevator illustrations and of course lots of his great SF bookcovers — but things really went into high gear in 2008 when I got Jane Frank’s ART OF JOHN BERKEY and noticed the Checklist in the back of the book!

checklist web

I was shocked that so much of Berkey’s art remained unseen, so I used the Checklist to track down as much of it as I could find. Many of the listings helped, but several of them lead to frustrating dead ends by merely listing the year when the art was commissioned instead of the year/month that the art was published… which made locating many of the illustrations extremely difficult (there are at least 40-50 paintings on that list I have yet to find! And several not on the list…)

The Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base was also helpful:

I first posted this website in October 2008, and with the help of several Berkey fans/collectors around the world & Demi Berkey’s assistance this website has grown to amazing perportions! I sincerely thank everyone who has helped make this website possible.

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John Berkey’s New York City Park skyline painting from the Nov. 1984 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine…


goodh84 web

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The old FORD Assembly Line by Berkey!


Modern Medicine cover 1976!

modmed web

SURPRISE: The doc in this painting originally appeared in Norman Rockwell’s 1929 POST cover entitled “The Doc and the Doll”!


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A Berkey Video clip!


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The Berkey Estate has a new website:

John Berkey’s SF art for sale!!

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Berkey’s Promotional Flyer

promo web

The 2 Berkey Art Books

1994 Painted Space  /  2003 Art of John Berkey

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John Berkey’s portrait of Hank Guenther

Who was Hank Guenther? The Guenthers were the next door neighbors of the Berkeys back in the 1980s, and Hank & John were the best of friends!


John did this portrait of Hank in 1981 and gave it to him as a present, and John even wrote “Hank Guenther” above his signature…


Hank is no longer alive — his daughter Kathy Guenther contacted me in 2010 and told me that her Mom had this painting, but no one had a camera to take of pics of it until now! When I talked with Demi about this painting, she said she remembered it — and now we can all finally see it!

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1977 Folder by Berkey!

NOTE: Neither of these great 1977 paintings on this folder have never been posted on any other Berkey website before I posted them in 2009!

Here is what Michael Friedlander wrote to me when I shared these with him:

“Jim — WOW… WOW… WOW… I can’t believe that John did a future city piece (or 2!) that I have not seen before. These are absolutely my favorite works that he did!” –Michael

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(Click on the side links to continue…)