Bernard Childs was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1930 he moved to New York to pursue his art career, studying by night at the Art Students League with Kimon Nicolaides. Childs later mastered industrial tools and metalworking while employed as a machinist in a factory converted to wartime production. In 1947 he began his studies in New York with Amédée Ozenfant. Childs, with the aid of the G.I. Bill, moved to Europe in 1951, living for a year in Italy before settling in Paris for the next fifteen years. Childs moved back to New York in 1966, but returned frequently to France. His work has been included in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, and is represented in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Brooklyn Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Library of Congress, the Newark Public Library, the New York Public Library, the Fogg Art Museum, the Zimmerli Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Worcester Art Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.