LeRoy K. Burket Biography

LeRoy K. Burket



Leroy Kirwan "Roy" Burket Jr. was born April 13, 1920, in Alton, Iowa, to Leroy Kirwan and Eunice G. (Cooley) Burket. He attended the University of Iowa, graduating with a B.F.A. in 1942 before serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945 aboard the USS Boise, a light cruiser. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy, he returned to the University of Iowa to pursue a master's degree, graduating in 1948 with an M.F.A.

In 1948 Burket began teaching various art courses at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. While there, he receiving a Fullbright Scholarship to study in the U.S., Canada, and France, at which time he took the opportunity to exhibit, with shows in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and in Canada. In 1957 Burket left his teaching job to move to Paris. 

While living in France, Burket taught art classes at a U.S. Air Force Base, and later worked at Trianon Press in Paris, where he provided research and technical support services during the development and production of a series of illustrated books of poetry by William Blake. He produced works in multiple media including oil paintings, water color, sculpture, collage and printmaking. During the 1950s and 1960s, his paintings and prints were selected for many exhibitions including several one-man shows in the United States and Europe. His work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; City Art Museum, St. Louis, and the Mulvane Art Center, Topeka, among others. 

Burket retired in 1986, continuing to live in Paris and visiting family and friends in the United States annually. He was an avid collector of 18th and 19th century European prints, 19th century ceramics, bronzes and oil paintings. 

Burket died in Akron, Iowa in 2003.

Information partially gathered from the artist's obituary in the Sioux City Journal, May, 2003