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W. Herbert Dunton (1878-1936)


William Herbert Dunton, better known as Buck Dunton was born in Augusta, Maine, in 1878.  As a young boy Dunton honed his drawing skills in the woods near his home, and by the time he was 16 he was contributing stories and sketches to local papers and the Boston Sunday Globe.


Dunton was always drawn to western Americana, and he would frequently spend time working as a ranch hand in Montana, Oregon, and Mexico.  Dunton’s formal education was at the Cowles School and the Art Students League in New York, where he developed a very successful and lucrative career as an illustrator.


At the invitation of Ernest Blumenschein, Dunton established a summer studio in the Taos art colony, and would ultimately settle there in 1921, becoming one of the original six “Taos Founders” whose goal was the promotion of local artists.  While his Taos Society of Artists peers favored the historic lore of the Native Indians, Dunton was more interested in animals and the lives and vanishing importance of the American cowboy.


Dunton’s health began a slow decline in 1928, following an injury from a horse.  It was around that time he began suffering from ulcers. His condition worsened for years and he was finally diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1935. William Herbert “Buck” Dunton died in Taos in 1936 at the age of 57.

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