I’ve written previously about John Berkey, the terrific illustrator known primarily for his fantastic visions of space flight, science fiction and future worlds.
Most often, when you find references to Berkey’s work, it is to his famous and influential style of space art and science fiction. Most people, even those who are rightly impressed by berkey’s well-known work, aren’t aware of the breadth and stylistic range of his career as an illustrator.
Berkey collector and enthusiast Jim Pinkoski has long maintained a terrific blog devoted to John Berkey’s art, and more specifically, to the art that you rarely see — calendar illustrations, advertisements, posters, magazine covers and interior illustrations covering a wide variety of topics.
Pinkoski has apparently searched through magazines, poster sources, second hand shops, archives, art galleries and a number of other sources to find examples of Berkey’s art that are (unjustifiably) rarely, if ever, seen elsewhere. More importantly, he has had assistance from Demi Berkey, and direct access to John Berkey’s files for many of the pieces.
Pinkoski was the author of an article on John Berkey in issue #36 of Dan Zimmer’s Illustration magazine (long sold out, but maybe you can chance across a copy).
The topics on the blog are arranged in the right column, and the site is extensive, with over 1,700 images. Though most of the images are not large, Pinkoski often posts detail crops, and annotates the images with comments on the piece or general information about the artist’s history.
Berkey remains one of the most influential artists among contemporary illustrators of science fiction, space art and concept art. His range of subjects included history, western scenes, cars, ships, planes, hunting, fishing, nature — even romance novel covers — in addition to art for NASA and magazines like Popular Mechanics, Reader’s Digest and TV Guide.
The John Berkey Art site is a treat, and I look forward to its continued expansion.
(For more, including links to additional sources for images, see my 2010 update post on John Berkey.)