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William Herbert "Buck" Dunton Ink Illustrated "The Trapper's Rifle," 1932

Item Details

William Herbert “Buck” Dunton (American, 1878 – 1936)
The Trapper’s Rifle, 1932
Ink on paper
Signed to the lower center
Dedicated to Fred and Mrs. Lambert
Provenance label to the verso
Includes a letter from the artist to Fred Lambert

Exhibition History
W. Herbert Dunton: A Retrospective, Eiteljorg Museum of American and Western Art, December 21, 1991 – February 15, 1992

Celebrated illustrator and Taos artist W. Herbert Dunton embodied the spirit of the American Wild West throughout his oeuvre. Born in Maine, Dunton spent much of his childhood in the wilderness hunting, fishing, and exploring. He also spent many of his summers out West in Montana working as a ranch hand and cultivating his artistic talent by sketching the local scenery. Dunton studied at the Cowles Art School in Boston in 1897 and at the Art Students League in New York under Frederick C. Yohn, Frank V. DuMond, and Ernest Blumenschein. At the beginning of the 20th century, Dunton worked as a commercial illustrator for publications such as Harper’s Weekly and Scribner’s. In 1914 Dunton was done with the strain of professional illustration, and with the encouragement of Ernest Blumenschein, made the permanent move to Taos, New Mexico. In Taos, Dunton was able to marry his two passions: hunting and painting, and by 1915 he became a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists.

Dunton resigned from the Taos Society of Artists in 1922 and then worked for the Public Works of Art Project during the Great Depression. He also pursued lithography and portrait drawing to make money, which was more affordable during that time. Dunton lived a rough-and-tumble Western lifestyle, which eventually took its toll on his health, and by 1936 he passed away of cancer. Dunton’s works have been exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His works are also privately and publicly collected, the majority of which reside in The Stark Museum of Art, but can also be found at the Eiteljorg Museum, Kit Carson Memorial Museums, Museum of New Mexico, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, The Rockwell Museum, and the San Antonio Art League.

  • Item not examined outside of mounting


- toning to the paper; slight stains to the edges and corners; handling wear to the letter including creases, tears to the edges, and minor stains; chips and abrasions throughout the frames.


16.5" W x 23.0" H x 1.0" D

- measures larger frame; illustration sheet measures 10.25" W x 13.35" H.

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