Life

1908 Born January 22nd in Buer / Westphalia.
1930-32 Studies philosophy and art history at the Universities of Münster (till 1931) and Königsberg. In Münster he attends lectures by Peter Wust, in Königsberg by Wilhelm Worringer. In Königsberg studies painting with Fritz Burmann.
1932-33 Academy of Arts Düsseldorf. Studies under Paul Klee.
1933 With the dismissal of Paul Klee from his post by the National Socialists, Berke leaves the Düsseldorf academy and returns to Buer / Westphalia.
1936 First exhibition in the Wallraf Richartz Museum, Cologne.
1937 Marriage with Brunhilde Hoppe. Studio and domicile in Arnoldshöhe, suburb of Cologne.
  Visit to Paris on the occasion of the world exhibition.
1940 Scholarship from the city of Cologne.
  Study trip to Regensburg and Passau. Visits Kubin’s studio.
1941 Conscription.
1943 Artistic stay in Vienna.
1945 Transfer to an armoured unit. Captured and imprisoned in a british war camp.
1946 Move to Alfter near Bonn.
  Involvement in the Donnerstagsgesellschaft (Thursday society) in the castle of Alfer together with the Cologne art historians Dr. Hermann Schnitzler and Toni Feldenkirchen, as well as the painters Hann Trier, Joseph Fassbender among others.
1948 Cornelius Prize of the City of Düsseldorf.
  During the following years he becomes a member of the Westdeutscher Künstlerbund (West German artist’s alliance), the Deutscher Künstlerbund (German artist’s alliance), the Neue Rheinische Sezession (New Rheinish Secession), the group junger westen (Young West), the Münchner Neue Gruppe (Munich New group) as well as the group “ZEN” (from 1951).
1950 Prize of “junger westen” (Young West) by the city of Recklinghausen.
1952 Trip to Spain and North Africa. Stay in Paris.
  2nd prize “Eisen und Stahl” (iron and steel) by the city of Düsseldorf.
1960 Chair of “free hand drawing and water colours” for the RWTH Aachen.
  Summer stay on Sylt.
1960-61 Scene designer for the ballet (“Petruschka”, “Tides”) at the Cologne Opera House in cooperation with the choreographer Aurel von Milloss.
1961 Großer Kunstpreis (art award) by the City of Cologne. Together with Max Ernst.
  Summer vacation on Sylt. Stay in Rome.
1962 Karl Ernst Osthaus Prize by the city of Hagen. Conrad von Soest Prize by the city of Münster.
1963 Trip to Syria.
1969 Trip to the Provence / France.
1972 First rip to Crete / Greece.
1973 Buys a plot of land with a small house on the island of Schouwen Duiveland.
1974 Second visit to Crete / Greece.
1978 Trip to southern Italy with a stay on Ischia.
1979 Dies November 24th in Cologne.