W. Herbert Dunton worked as a ranch hand in his youth. He studied at Cowles Art School in Boston, Massachusetts and briefly at the Art Students League in 1912, the pupil of Joseph de Camp and E L Blumenschein who told Dunton about Taos. In 1912, Dunton opened his summer studio in Taos. He was invited to join Blumenchein, Sharp, Couse, Phillips, and Berninghaus in the formation of the Taos Society of Artists. Dunton worked as an illustrator in Western life for the popular magazines, sketching the West in the summer and composing his illustrations to order in the winter. He settles permanently in Taos in 1921 to avoid the pressure of illustration deadlines. A picturesque character familiarly known as Buck, he was one of the most popular of the Taos painters. He wrote “Painters of Taos” for American Magazine of Art in 1922, emphasizing the advantages of light, color, and Indian life. In Taos, Dunton was a successful illustrator for Harper’s and Scribner’s, his subject matter usually Western or outdoors like that of his good friend Philip R. Goodwin. He also created book jackets for Western classics. In addition to his illustrations, he painted and exhibited widely, keeping his paintings simple and nostalgic: “The West has passed—more’s the pity. In another 25 years, the old-time westerner will have gone with the buffalo and the antelope. I’m going to hand down to posterity a bit of the unadulterated real thing.
Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST, Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing