Louis Bunce (1907-1983) was a painter, printmaker, and educator active in Portland, Oregon. His modernist style influenced many artists in the Pacific Northwest.
Born in Wyoming in 1907, Bunce began his art education at the Museum Art School in Portland Oregon in 1925. After two years, he moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League. During the great Depression, Bunce returned to Oregon and worked for the federal WPA Section of Painting and Sculpture. He painted murals for post offices in Portland (St. Johns neighborhood), and Grants Pass. Bunce moved back to New York in 1940, where he continued working as a WPA mural and easel painter, and befriended fellow artists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, and other American modernists.
A prominent member of the arts scene of Portland, Bunce taught at the Museum Art School (now the Pacific Northwest College of Art) from 1946 until 1972. In 1949, he and his wife Gloria opened the Kharouba Gallery, the first art gallery in Portland to show modernist, avant-garde, and experimental art. In 1958, Bunce's abstract mural for the Portland International Airport created some controversy over its modernist style. The mural can still be seen in the airport.
Bunce married twice, to Eda Hult and Gloria Scott. With Eda, he had a son, Jon Bunce. Louis Bunce died in Portland, Oregon in 1983 from an aneurysm.