Thomas Nygard Gallery - 19th and 20th Century American Art



William Herbert

William Herbert "Buck" Dunton was born in Augusta, Maine in 1878. In his youth Dunton harbored desires to see the west, which resulted in his first trip Montana where he worked as a ranch hand before choosing art as his true calling.  He studied at Cowles Art School in Boston, Massachusetts. He also studied  at the Arts Students League in New York in 1912 where he was a pupil of Joseph De Camp and Ernest L. Blumenschein.


Having learned of the art community in Taos through Blumenschein, Dunton moved there in 1912 and opened his summer studio. He was invited to join Ernest Blumenschein, Joseph Henry Sharp, Bert Greer Phillips and Eanger Irving Couse in the formation of the prestigious Taos Society of Artists.


Working through the winter as a successful illustrator for such popular magazines as Harper's and Scribner's, he spent his summers sketching the West and absorbing Western life to feed his imagination.  The pressure of the magazines and their deadlines drove him to move permanently to Taos in 1921.


"When I was a little boy and lived in Maine, I read everything about the West I could get my hands on - not dime novels, but everything authentic.  I lived the life in prospect. Then I lived it in actuality, living with cowpunchers in Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona - all along the cattle strip. Now that those days are gone, I live it in retrospect and in my pictures."


His works are held by many important museums and collections including the Amon Carter Museum, the Anschutz Collection, Witte Memorial Museum, and the White House.

(1878 - 1936)

Back to Inventory

133 East Main Street

Bozeman, Montana 59715

 phone: 406.586.3636