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 Kenneth Rodney Bunn  (1938 - )

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Lived/Active: Colorado      Known for: wildlife sculpture, wax figures

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Kenneth Rodney Bunn
An example of work by Kenneth Rodney Bunn
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A sculptor of animals, Kenneth Bunn began as a taxidermist and then creator of animal displays for museums.  At age 18, just out of high school, he audited medical school anatomy classes at the University of Utah and then apprenticed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.  He also had a four-year apprenticeship with Hungarian taxidermist and sculptor Coloman Jonas.  Among his accomplishments are nearly 100 wax figures in genre scenes for the Old West Wax Museum in Thermopolis, Wyoming.  Subjects include Buffalo Bill, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, John C. Fremont and Charles Russell.

Then Bunn started his own commercial art business of making animal displays for museums.  Continuing to sculpt on his own, he had a focus on his own work that began to take precedence, especially when he won a bronze medal at the National Sculpture Society Show in New York.  His studio has been a warehouse in Denver.

Sources include:
Wildlife Art and Southwest Art
Old West Wax Museum website,

Biography from Claggett/Rey Gallery:
Kenneth Bunn breathes action and life into his animal sculpture. Through his strong, personal and interpretative style he imbues a vitality and energy in his subjects that reflect their zest for life. That elusive quality is often difficult to depict within his chosen medium - bronze.

Unlike two-dimensional painting, a sculpture must work from all viewpoints. With only light and shadow to create the illusion of movement. Bunn strives to achieve the precise surface texture that will convey his ideas.

Through some level of animal anatomy may be gleaned from textbooks, mastery of their gestures, an inquisitive look, or specific behaviors, demands field studies. In addition to traveling to Africa, Europe, Mexico, and numerous areas in North America, Bunn visits zoos and private preserves, which provide him with opportunities to enhance his work.

As an artist, he seeks to capture the "implied action" by creating sculptures that prolong or increase motion. To communicate the suggestion of movement and life, he will extend an animal's leg or alter reality in some other way that will allow viewers to perceive the work's meaning. While he concedes his pieces are not exactly scientific, he believes that "strict accuracy does not necessarily make a great sculpture." In fact, Bunn believes too much information may stymie the artist's imagination and creativity.

Noteworthy museum representation includes the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada; Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana; the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming; the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin; the Colombus Museum of Art , Ohio; the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Denver Art Museum, Colorado. Bunn's recent monumental sculpture installations include Century Bank, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the University of Kentucky Campus, Lexington, Kentucky; the Westminster Schools, Atlanta, Georgia; and Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado.

Bunn is an Academician of the National Academy of Design and a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society.

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, V:
Kenneth Bunn’s sculptures of animals and human figures are easily recognizable because of their strong interpretative style, which results in a sense of life and movement without unnecessary detail. “I create the illusion of life,” says Bunn. He combines design and mass into three-dimensional portrayals that have a fine sense of anticipated action. The center of interest may not lie in what the animals are doing, but in where their interest is directed. Viewers are caught up in that sense of anticipation and become part of the setting. Bunn works with light, shadow, and texture, incorporating few protrusions, openings, or fine lines to detract from the spirit of the animal, and leaving only the suggestion of anatomical detail with unerring accuracy.

Although a certain level of animal anatomy knowledge may be gleaned from textbooks, mastery of animals’ gestures, inquisitive looks, and other specific behaviors demands field studies. In addition to traveling to Africa, Europe, Mexico, and numerous areas of North America, Bunn visits zoos and private animal preserves, which give him opportunities to enhance his work.

Noteworthy museum representation includes the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City; the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin; the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; the Wildlife Experience, Parker, Colorado; the Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art, Boulder, Colorado; and the Denver Art Museum.

Bunn is a member of the Rungius Society, an Academician of the National Academy of Design, and a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society,

Masters of the West Show, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA

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