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Kenneth Bunn

(b. 1935)

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Biography

Born in 1935, sculptor Ken Bunn has had a lifelong interest in the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of animals.  After high school, Bunn apprenticed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., then spent four years as apprentice to Coloman Jonas, a Denver taxidermist and sculptor.  Bunn then started his own commercial art company, creating animal and human models for museums, a business he operated while working on his own sculptures.  In 1969, Bunn gave up the business to focus on his own artwork.  That year also marked Bunn’s first visit to Africa.  Bunn has since made numerous trips back to Africa, as well as traveling to Europe, Mexico, and throughout North America to study and learn the gestures, anatomy, and behaviors of animals.  Bunn now works in a two-story studio in downtown Denver.

Bunn’s sculptures employ a blend of realism and impressionism in a strong interpretive style, using loose, flowing sculptural surfaces to convey life and movement without unnecessary detail.  He works with every anatomical element of each piece, adjusting them until the whole sculpture reflects some truth about the essence of the animal depicted.  Bunn seeks to express implied or anticipated movement within his sculptures.  Ideas for the works come from experience and research, with Bunn rarely sculpting a subject he has not personally seen.  His sculptures range in size from the miniature to the monumental. 

In my mind, a great piece of art lets the viewer know something was churning inside the artist, that he was really “turned on” by the creative process.

Ken Bunn

Bunn is a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society, the National Academy of Western Art, and the Society of Animal Artists.  His works have been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario, Canada, and the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Bunn’s sculptures are also in numerous private and public collections, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; and the Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin.  His awards include the Frederic Remington Award and the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award at the Prix de West International Exhibition and the Distinguished Wildlife Artist Award from the Woodson Art Museum.