Bernhard Pankok, the son of a cabinet-maker, was born in 1872. After serving an apprenticeship as a painter and restorer in Münster, Berhard Pankok studied painting at the Düsseldorf and Berlin Art Academies.
From 1892 Bernhard Pankok had a studio of his own in Munich. There he freelanced as an artist, graphic artist and illustrator for the journals "Pan" and "Jugend". Greatly impressed by the British Arts and Crafts movement, Bernhard Pankok joined Hermann Obrist, Richard Riemerschmid, and Bruno Paul in founding the Munich "Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk".
From 1897 Bernhard Pankok designed furniture, showing work at numerous exhibitions. Bernhard Pankok showed his designs for a tower room at the 1900 Paris Exposition. That same year he was commissioned by the art historian Konrad Lange to build and design the interior of a house for him in Tübingen. The commission for "Haus Lange" (1901-1902) saw Bernhard Pankok move his base to Württemberg.
In 1901 Bernhard Pankok was appointed to the "Königliche Lehr- und Versuchswerkstätte" in Stuttgart, becoming director in 1913, and later mergint it with the "Kunstgewerbeschule". Between 1908 and 1913 Bernhard Pankok also designed the main building for the new "Akademie der Bildenden Künste am Weißenhof".
"Haus Rosenfeld", designed by Pankok in Stuttgart, was built between 1909 and 1912. An incredibly versatile and prolific artist, Bernhard Pankok designed furniture and interiors but also worked throughout his career as a painter and graphic artist. As a portraitist Bernhard Pankok was much in demand.
Bernhard Pankok also designed salons for ocean liners and the passenger cabins on Zeppelin airships. And he even designed stage sets for opera houses. In 1907 Bernhard Pankok was a co-founder of the Deutscher Werkbund.