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Q: Looking for bio on an artist "bernd or bernard fenke or funke" ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Looking for bio on an artist "bernd or bernard fenke or funke"
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: mastergardener-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 08 Oct 2006 12:03 PDT
Expires: 07 Nov 2006 11:03 PST
Question ID: 771760
I purchased a 11 x 14 oil painting portrait in 1985.  The gallery was
unable to give me a bio and still has not provided a bio but
apparently in New York art dealers know this artist.  He has died and
nobody really knows how to spell his name.  The last name has two dots
above the 2nd letter.  He may have stopped painting 20 or more years

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 08 Oct 2006 12:23 PDT
That's an interesting question. The two dots above the second letter
would be an "ü", a German umlaut. Fünke is indeed a German name,
albeit a rare one. I can't find a Bernd/Bernard Fünke online; but
right tomorrow, I will search the German art encyclopedias in the
library for him.

In the meantime, it might prove helpful if you could put a photograph
of the signature online. I recommend that you use Imageshack, which is
a free service. Once you have uploaded tha image there, just post the
link in a clarification to this question:


Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 08 Oct 2006 16:56 PDT
I believe that I have found a first clue. I hope that I will be able
to provide you more information tomorrow.


Request for Question Clarification by justaskscott-ga on 08 Oct 2006 23:46 PDT
Could it be this artist?

"Bernd Funke"
Antiquitäten - Heller

The lack of an umlaut makes me doubtful .... Still, I thought I should ask.
Subject: Re: Looking for bio on an artist "bernd or bernard fenke or funke"
Answered By: scriptor-ga on 09 Oct 2006 09:18 PDT
Dear mastergardener,

My library research was successful. I can now provide you biographic
information about the painter.

First, a little background information: The mark above the second
letter of the last name in the artist's signature are not the dots of
an umlaut. Actually, it's a certain handwriting peculiarity that used
to be very common in Germany until only some years ago. Germans often
put a little swung dash above the "u", not to make it an umlaut, but
just to distinguish it from the "n", which could appear rather similar
in script. This custom can be very irritating for those who are not
native speakers of German; an "u" could be easily misread for an "ü".
I had to look at signatures of Bernd Funke I found online before I
came to this conclusion I should have thought of earlier, since I'm

The correct name of the artist is Berhard Funke, who signed his
pictures as Bernd Funke.

Bernd Funke was born on 13 July 1902 in Essen, Germany. In 1920, he
attended the newly founded, short-lived pedagogical reform Folkwang
School in Essen, and from 1921 to 1923, he studied at the Essen
College of Art. In 1923, Funke passed the state examination as an
From 1931 to 1936, Funke was an art teacher at Meppen Grammar School
until he had to resign from school-teaching due to pressure by the
National Socialists. From 1937 to 1940, Funke was head of an
advertising studio in Cologne.
During World War II, he served as army painter in France, Russia,
Romania and Hungary. After the war, Funke worked in an art design
studio in Cologne from 1950 to 1959, before he relocated to Meppen,
where he continued to work as a freelance artist till 1973.
On 16 October 1988, Bernd Funke died in Heide in the German state of

Funke mainly painted architectural pictures and landscapes of his home
region, with which he tied in with the naturalistic landscape painters
of the 19th century. In 1935, he had published a collection of 10
etchings titled "Beautiful Emsland". However, Funke was also known for
his portraits and still lifes. His flower paintings are especially

The paintings of Bernd Funke have a certain value. His flower
paintings achieve prices around 300 Euros in Europe, his portraits are
estimated at up to $1000 in the USA.

Hope this answers your question!
Best regards,


Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Band 46 (p. 347). Published by K. G.
Saur, Munich and Leipzig, 2005. ISBN 3.598-22786-8

Banghaus Auctioneers, Hamburg

Live Auctioneers

Artnet: Bernd (Bernhard) Funke

Close-ups of some of Bernd Funke's signatures:, signature on "Pipe Smoker" (portrait, 1940s)

Banghaus Auctioneers, signature on "Flowers in a Vase" (flower painting)

Banghaus Auctioneers, signature on another flower painting
Subject: Re: Looking for bio on an artist "bernd or bernard fenke or funke"
From: stanmartin1952-ga on 08 Oct 2006 22:51 PDT
Here is a link to a painting by Bernd Funke (1902 - 1988):

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