Painter. A few months of night classes at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, his only formal training, led Berninghaus to a successful career as a painter and illustrator. While touring the Southwest in 1899, he was persuaded by a brakeman on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad to visit Taos. He stayed only a week on his first trip but returned from his native St. Louis each summer until 1925, when he settled in Taos permanently, drawn by the diverse population and scenic landscape. Berninghaus was one of six founders of the Taos Society of Artist in 1915. By the early 190s, he was well known in the East as a painter of Indians and the southwestern landscape, which remained his favorite subjects for the next thirty years.
Cassidy, Ina Sizer. "Art and Artists of New Mexico." New Mexico Magazine 11 (January 1933): 28, 41–42.
Broder. Taos: A Painter's Dream, pp. 115–35.
Bickerstaff, Pioneer Artists of Taos, pp. 85–98.
Charles Eldredge, Julie Schimmel, and William H. Truettner Art in New Mexico, 1900–1945: Paths to Taos and Santa Fe (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1986)