William E. L. Bunn papers, 1863-2009

Bunn, William E. L. (Edward Lewis), b. 1910 d. 2009
Painter, Muralist, Designer
Active in Iowa; Miss.

Collection size: 12.8 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of painter, muralist, and designer William E. L. Bunn measure 12.8 linear feet and date from 1863-2009. The collection documents Bunn's career as a painter, industrial designer, and his work on Treasury Department post office mural commissions through biographical material, scattered correspondence, project files, industrial design records, diaries and journals, writings and notes, printed material, photographs, and artwork. Also found are Bunn's papers regarding Grant Wood.

Biographical/Historical Note: Wiliam Edward Lewis Bunn (1910-2009) was a designer, muralist, and painter in Muscatine, Iowa and Ojai, California. Bunn studied under Grant Wood at the University of Iowa. During the 1930s he won commissions from the Federal Department of Fine Arts to paint murals in public buildings throughout the Midwest. He also worked as an industrial designer for Shaeffer Pen and Cuckler Steel. Later in life, he turned to painting placid scenes of Americana, and was particularly fond of Mississippi river boats as a subject.

Donated by Bunn in 1989 and in 2010 by Bunn's daughter, Chari Petrowski. The sketchbooks and sketches on reel 3813 were transferred with Bunn's permssion from the General Services Administration, which had received them from Bunn.

How to Use this Collection

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  • Two sketchbooks (Sketchbook #4 and Sketchbook #5) in this collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reel 3813 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan.
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