Born on a farm in Polk County, Nebraska, during the famous blizzard of 1888, Augustus Dunbier became Nebraska's most prominent and widely traveled artists in the early to mid 20th century. Working until the year before his death at age 89, he painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits in a style that others, but not he, labelled Impressionist.
At age 10, he saw his first professional art work at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha, Nebraska and this exposure set the direction of his life. A year later, he returned with his parents to Germany from where his family had emigrated, and in 1907, he enrolled for seven years of study at the Dusseldorf Academy, known for its instruction in genre and history painting. However, Impressionist Adolf Munzer had the most influence on him as did his private plein-air painting excursions into the countryside with fellow students.
Returning to America, he spent a semester at the Chicago Art Institute, winter of 1914 to 1915, where he began a long association with Walter Ufer, a teacher at the Institute.
In 1916, Dunbier established his studio in Omaha, Nebraska, and in a city that was not particularly art-oriented, made a living as a full-time painter. He had many portrait commissions, did professional restoration for institutions, most particularly the Joslyn Museum, and taught art workshops throughout the state. For years he gave private lessons in his studio and also taught at the Joslyn, the YMCA, and the Jewish Community Center.
He traveled frequently and in 1920, at the invitation of Ufer, went to Taos, something he did every successive summer except during World War II. Ufer and Eanger Couse, also a Taos painter, successfully sponsored Dunbier's membership in the Salmagundi Club of New York City.
In 1926 and 1928, he painted in Alaska where he lived at Sitka and made day trips into the wilderness from there. He exhibited paintings from his first Alaska trip at the Seattle Art Association and the San Francisco Art Association. He also painted on the East Coast with Emil Gruppe at Gloucester and George Luks in New York. In 1930, he began painting in Southern California and in Arizona, spending much time at the Grand Canyon, the Flagstaff area and at the Hopi pueblos.
n the late 1950s and early 1960s, when his son Roger was at Oxford University in England, he did numerous European landscapes including English country village architecture. In 1963, when Roger moved to Arizona, the artist and his wife began spending their winters there. He completed hundreds of desert landscapes which were sold through the Rosequist Gallery in Tucson and the Austin Gallery in Scottsdale. He also made regular painting trips to California and the Northwest Coast, but his home base was Omaha where he had a sixty-five year career.
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Lonnie Pierson Dunbier, daughter-in-law of the artist
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Attention: Dunbier collectors an outstanding painting titled "Quiet Water" is being offered for sale by the a private collector. Serious inquiries only to email@example.com