William Herbert Dunton

W. Herbert “Buck” Dunton was an American artist who specialized in cowboys and paintings of the American Southwest. He was born in Augusta, Maine on August 28, 1878 into a family who enjoyed the outdoors and hunting. He grew up in the wilderness and became infatuated with the American West after a trip to Montana in 1896. Over the next 15 years he spent his summers visiting the Pacific Northwest and traveled down to the Southwestern United States. He completed pen and ink drawings during these times, selling them to local papers. In 1897, he attended the Cowles Art School in Boston for a few years. He married in 1900 and moved to New York three years later, a move that brought him the exposure he needed to gain a reputation. In 1908, Dunton was elected into a local artist fraternity and, two years later, continued his studies at the Art Students League. Throughout this time, he illustrated for numerous magazines and books throughout the country.

Growing tired of the monotony of commercial illustrations, he relocated to Taos, New Mexico in 1914 and 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. In 1915, he helped found the Taos Society of Artists and continued to exhibit through 1935. In 1928, Dunton’s health began to fade after a horse injury and he never improved. Through the years, his health worsened and on March 18, 1936, Dunton passed away from prostate cancer at the age of 57.