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 George Bunn  (fl.1885 - 1898)

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Lived/Active: New York/Connecticut / Germany/Belgium/Holland/United Kingdom      Known for: marine painting-harbor and ship scenes, sign painting

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Ad Code: 4
George Bunn
from Auction House Records.
Venice with Shipping
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An American artist known for marine painting and commercial art, he was born in Brussels and moved by his family to Utica, New York, remained primarily in New York State until 1885, when he returned to Brussels.  At age 15, he enlisted in a New York cavalry as a bugler to serve in the Civil War, and received a head wound that affected the remainder of his life.  After leaving the Army, he served on the ship, Pensacola, in the Pacific Ocean, and then returned to Utica where he set up a sign painting business.  In his leisure he did marine painting, which he sold locally.

His painting brought him enough attention that he had offers of sponsorship to go abroad for academic art training, "but he preferred his bohemian life in Utica, painting signs for a living and sketches for amusement.  He was naturally indolent."

In the 1880s, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he took a job with a firm of art dealers that sent him to Europe, first to Brussels and then to Antwerp "where he found along the docks and canals the class of subjects that suited his talent."  He also did paintings, which he sent back to Connecticut and which then found a ready market through the firm he represented.  In 1887, his work was exhibited at the National Academy of Design.

In December 1893, George Bunn was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor for the murder of Anna Hoffmann, "a young servant girl who had been employed in the house where he lived.  The girl discouraged Bunn's advances and finally left the house."  The court finding was that he learned of her engagement to be married, and on June 5, 1893, forced his way into her house and fatally shot her.  His legal defense was that he was subject to periods of mental aberrations from his Civil War head wound and that during those times he was not responsible for his actions.  As a result, the jury gave him a lighter sentence than they normally would for the commitment of this kind of crime.


"An American Artist's Crime: George Bunn Sentenced in Antwerp for Killing a Girl." Internet Archives of The New York Times from an article dated December 14, 1893.  The quotes are from this article.

Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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