Fred Berman began his art education at the Milwaukee State Teachers College where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education in 1948. He received his Master of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1949.
Berman began his teaching career at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee. In 1960, he began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was a member of the Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors organization.
In 1955, Fred Berman, an art teacher at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, had read that Katherine Kuh, curator at the famed Art Institute of Chicago, was putting together a show of American modern artists for the Venice Biennale. Berman loaded several of his paintings into his father's car and drove to Chicago. At the loading dock of the Art Institute, Ms. Kuh looked over his works and said, "Double congratulations, for being so young and painting so well."
He was 29 and his painting, one of his White City series, hung in Venice alongside works by deKooning, Pollock, and Rothko.