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For a traveling W. Herbert Dunton retrospective in 1991-2, Michael R. Grauer wrote, “Dunton was one of a few artists who could lend authenticity to Western illustrations because he had been a part of it, albeit as it was passing away. Like many of his fellows, he was a great collector of Western garb and weapons. Yet, Dunton’s authenticity transcends mere gear and trappings into the arena of believable Western figures, characters, and situations. Unlike the more well-known Wyeth, for example, Dunton never exaggerated poses of distorted facial expressions to the point of caricature.

“To be sure, Dunton’s figures are cut from the Cowboy Hero mold. They are, nevertheless, believable, and this believability separates Dunton from his illustrator peers. Generally, Dunton’s illustrations rarely contain the air of artificiality or fantasy integral to the work of most illustrators. While cleaned-up to a certain extent, he still allowed the dirt and grit of the West to seep into his pictures: Dunton’s West was not a dream, it was real!”

PROVENANCE
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
[The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Reno, NV 2014]
Private Collection, CO 2014

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