Born at Canadian, Bernson studied under Isabel Robinson at West Texas State College (now West Texas A & M University) and at the Palo Duro School of Art. He won first prize for non-objective painting at the 1941 Tri-State Fair at Amarillo before joining the U. S. Army Air Corps. Bernson served in the European Theater as crew chief on a B-26. After World War II, he held his first solo exhibition at Canadian in 1948. Continuing his studies at the Farnsworth School of Art and the Amagansette Art School, both at Sarasota, Florida, Bernson completed his academic training at the Cranbrook Academy of Art at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. After working as a commercial artist at New York City in 1956 and 1957–where his clients included International and General Electric-Bernson returned to Canadian, completing commissions in easel painting, metal sculpture, interior design, and architecture throughout the Panhandle. He exhibited his work in group exhibitions in Michigan, New York City, Chicago, Kansas City, and Youngstown, Ohio. He also had solo exhibitions at Sarasota, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Canyon, Canadian, and Pampa.