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William E. L. Bunn papers, 1863-2009

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as 10 series:

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1910-2009
0.7 Linear feet
Box 1, 12, FC 33

Biographical material includes awards, membership certificates, diplomas, and other school records, as well as records relating to an exhibition and donation of papers at the Smithsonian Institution. Also found are Bunn family genealogy records which consist of family trees, photographs of family members, letters, notes, and one film reel (8mm) of a family reunion. Additional material includes an interview transcript, plans and notes regarding various studio additions, and an autobiographical file maintained by Bunn including professional summaries, lists of works, and other records.
Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Description Container Select
Address Book, 1983-2000s
1
1
Application to Reside at Krotona Estate, 2003-2009
1
2
Autobiographical File, 1941-1991
1
3
Birth and Death Records, 1910, 1942, 2009
1
4
Certificates, circa 1929-1930
(Oversized items housed in box 12)
1
5
Diploma, Muscatine High School, 1929
1
6
Diploma, State University of Iowa, 1942
1
7
Exhibition Artwork Labels, circa 1937-1938
1
8
Family Reunion, circa 1976
1 Film reel
8mm
Motion picture film stored separately in film can numbered FC 33.
1
9
Financial Loan Records, 1941-1942
1
10
Genealogy, circa 1916-2002
(5 folders)
1
11-15
High School Reunion Booklet, 1989
1
16
Index of Personal Documents, circa 1980s-1990s
1
17
Interview of William Bunn by E. Bradford Burns, 1948-1954, 1990
1
18
Marriage Certificate, 1939
1
19
Masons Membership Records, 1951, 2000
(Oversized items housed in box 12)
1
20
Muscatine Public School Records, 1920-1929
1
21
Print-outs of Internet Searches for "William Bunn,", 2000-2006
1
22
Report Cards for Ricki Bunn, 1958-1961
1
23
Shriner Certificate, 2000s
1
24
Social Security Information, 1975-1979
1
25
Smithsonian Related Documents, 1987-2003
(2 folders)
1
26-27
Stock Certificates, 1960
1
28
Studio Additions, circa 1983-1993
(Oversized items housed in box 12)
1
29
Oversize Certificates, circa 1929-1930
(Oversized items from box 1, folder 5)
12
Oversize Masons Membership Records, 1951, 2000
(Oversized items from box 1, folder 20)
12
Oversize Studio Additions Plans, circa 1983-1993
(Oversized items from box 1, folder 29)
12
1 Motion Picture Film Reel from Box 1, Folder 9
FC 33

Series 2: Correspondence , 1927-2006
0.3 Linear feet
Box 1

Correspondence is between Bunn and his mother, friend and fellow artist Lee Allen, Muscatine Art Center, and Karel Yasko of the General Services Administration. General correspondence files include letters regarding exhibitions of Bunn's artwork, awards, mural projects, and other commissions. Also found are many illustrated envelopes which Bunn sent to his wife Annavene. A few of the envelopes contained letters, but the majority of the original letters are not included. Researchers should note that additional correspondence can be found within the project files in Series 3.
Description Container Select
Letters and Illustrated Envelopes from William Bunn to Annavene Bunn, 1961-1988
(3 folders)
1
30-32
Letters to William Bunn from Mother, 1933
1
33
Correspondence with Lee Allen, 1981-1996
(2 folders)
1
34-35
Correspondence with Karel Yasko, 1973, 1977
1
36
Correspondence with Muscatine Art Center, 1988
1
37
General Correspondence, 1927-2006
(5 folders)
1
38-42

Series 3: Project Files , circa 1925-2002
2.2 Linear feet
Box 1-3, 12, OV 15-19, RD 31

Project files document Bunn's work as a painter and muralist. Bunn created a notebook "Index to Projects" late in his career. Each project, including his post office mural projects, was assigned a number and has a one page description and photograph within the notebook. Also found is a corresponding file for each of the projects from the index. Files may include photographs, notes, and sketches. Files on the post office mural projects are extensive and may also include correspondence, news clippings, and related publications. Researchers should note that additional drawings for these projects may be found in Series 10: Artwork.
Folders are arranged based on the arrangement from Bunn's "Index to Projects." Researchers may want to consult this notebook before using related files.
Description Container Select
"Index of Projects" Notebook, circa 1988-2001
1
43
Mississippi Dawn, circa 1940-1995
(2 folders)
1
44-45
Punch and Judy Puppets, circa 1988
1
46
American Venus, circa 1953-1998
(2 folders)
1
47-48
American Venus, circa 1953-1998
(2 folders)
2
1-2
Capital, circa 1986
2
3
Ottumwa Belle, 1952
2
4
Pauline, circa 1957, 1992
2
5
Rainbow Portrait (Treasure Hunters), circa 1957-1968
(2 folders)
2
6-7
Summer Morning, 1926, 1950s, 1990
2
8
Torso, circa 1937
2
9
Approaching Storm, circa 1992
2
10
The Great Divide, circa 1988
2
11
Wyoming Hill, circa 1948-1997
2
12
Landing Packet, circa 1940s
2
13
Anita and Her Friends, circa 1940s
2
14
Bend in River at Muscatine, circa 1925-1974
2
15
City of St. Paul, circa 1940
2
16
City of St. Louis, circa 2001
2
17
Northern Belle, circa 1938
2
18
Showboat Goldenrod, circa 1942
2
19
High Bridge at Muscatine, circa 1930s
2
20
Passing River, circa 1939
2
21
Steamboat with Barge, circa 1950s
2
22
St. Louis Post Office Mural Competition Entry, circa 1939
(Oversized items housed in OV 15)
2
23
Dubuque, Iowa Post Office Mural, 1929-1990s
(7 folders; oversized items housed in OV 16)
2
24-30
Minden, Nebraska Mural, circa 1937-2002
(8 folders; oversized items housed in OV 17)
2
31-38
Hamburg, Iowa Post Office Mural, 1939-1994
(5 folders; oversized items housed in OV 18)
2
39-43
Hickman, Kentucky Post Office Mural, circa 1939-1940
(3 folders)
2
44-46
Magnetic Sky Phenomena, circa 1980s
2
47
Sunburst and Reflection Phenomena, circa 1980s
2
48
Decatur, Illinois Post Office Mural Competition Entries, circa 1930s
2
49
Fort Madison Illustrations, 1966
2
50
Miniature Steamboat Annavene, circa 1980s
2
51
Wedding Dance, circa 1920s-1996
(Oversized items housed in box 12, RD 31)
3
1
Morning Meditation, circa 1980s
3
2
Guardian Angel, circa 1951-1993
(2 folders)
3
3-4
Redwood Forest Meditation, circa 1991-1993
3
5
Hazzard Portrait, circa 1989-1991
3
6
Schneider Mural, circa 1980s
3
7
Hanley Monument, 1961-1995
(4 folders)
3
8-11
Beth Kensinger Brown Portrait, circa 1995
3
12
Libbey Park at Ojai Art Center Bridge, 1992
3
13
Notes on Post Office Murals, circa 1970s
3
14
Oak Grove Krishnamurti Projects, 1982-2002
(Oversized items housed in OV 19)
3
15
Product Development for Vehicle Safety Device, 1967-1968
3
16
Proposed Murals for Sheaffer Pen Company, 1950-1951
3
17
Puppet Tour, 1933-1948
3
18
Oversize Wedding Dance Drawings, circa 1920s-1996
(Oversized items from box 3, folder 1)
12
St. Louis Post Office Mural Competition Entry, circa 1939
(Oversized items from box 3, folder 15)
OV 15
Dubuque, Iowa Post Office Mural, 1929-1990s
(Oversized items from box 2, folder 30)
OV 16
Minden, Nebraska Mural, circa 1937-2002
(Oversized items from box 2, folder 38)
OV 17
Hamburg, Iowa Post Office Mural, 1939-1994
(Oversized items from box 2, folder 43)
OV 18
Oak Grove Krishnamurti Projects, 1982-2002
(Oversized items from box 3, folder 15)
OV 19
Oversize Wedding Dance Floor Drawings, circa 1920s-1996
(Oversized items from box 3, folder 1)
RD 31

Series 4: Industrial Design Records , circa 1944-1977
0.6 Linear feet
Box 3, 12, OV 20

Found here are records of William Bunn's employment as an industrial designer, primarily for Sheaffer Pen Company and Cuckler Steele Span Company. Included are drawings and blueprints for Bunn's designs, day planners, employment records, photographs, advertisements, and product catalogs.
Description Container Select
Barnes & Reinecke "Slotties,", circa 1944-1945
3
19
Cuckler Steele Span Co. (Cuckler Building Systems)
Blueprints for Cuckler Home Studio, 1968
(Oversized items housed in OV 20)
3
20
Day Planner, 1967
3
21
Day Planner, 1968
3
22
Day Planner, 1969
3
23
Day Planner, 1970
3
24
Day Planner, 1977
3
25
General Records, circa 1971
(2 folders)
3
26-27
Photographs, circa 1970s
3
28
Sheaffer Pen Company
General Records, circa 1950-1967
(6 folders; oversized items housed in box 12)
3
29-34
Photographs of Sheaffer Pen Company, 1960s
3
35
Photographs of William Bunn at Sheaffer Pen Company, circa 1960
3
36
Pen Case and Pens, circa 1960s
3
37
Oversize Sheaffer Pen Company General Records, circa 1950-1967
(Oversized items from box 3, folder 33)
12
Oversize Blueprints for Cuckler Home Studio, 1968
(Oversized items from box 3, folder 20)
OV 20

Series 5: Papers Relating to Grant Wood , 1935-2006
0.5 Linear feet
Box 3-4, 12

William Bunn's papers relating to Grant Wood include memorabilia and photographs from the Grant Wood Art Festival, catalogs for exhibitions of Wood's artwork, and printed material about Wood. Correspondence is primarily between Bunn and others regarding Wood, but also includes a letter of recommendation written by Grant Wood for Bunn in 1942. Also found here are various notes, a VHS vidoecassette of an event, and photographs, including two photographs of Wood and photographs of his residence in Iowa City.
Description Container Select
Correspondence, 1942-2006
3
38
Grant Wood Art Festival, 1993-1997
(2 folders)
3
39-40
Exhibition Catalogs, 1935-1973
3
41
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1940-2002
(2 Folders)
3
42-43
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1940-2002
(Oversized items housed in box 12)
4
1
News Clippings, 1930s-2002
(3 folders)
4
2-4
Notes, circa 1967-2004
4
5
Photographs, circa 1930s-2002
4
6
Reproductions of Artwork, circa 1970s-1990s
4
7
"Gathering of Friends of Grant Wood,", 1991
(1 videocassette: VHS)
4
8
Oversize Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1940-2002
(Oversized items from box 4, folder 1)
12

Series 6: Diaries and Journals , 1929-2003
(Box 4-6; 2.2 linear feet)

Found here are 41 pocket diaries and journals belonging to William Bunn and dating from 1929-1951 and 1969-2003. Pocket diaries document the period that Bunn was a student at the University of Iowa and include brief accounts of his art projects and school activities. Later journals include time management schedules created by Bunn detailing his work, travel, expenditures, and goals. Some journals include sketches and attached photographs and documents. Also found here are an expense journal and a journal belonging to Jane Hehmeyer.
Diaries and journals are arranged chronologically.
Description Container Select
Pocket Diary, 1929
4
9
Pocket Diary, 1930
4
10
Journal, 1930
4
11
Pocket Diary, 1931
4
12
Journal, 1931
4
13
Pocket Diary, 1932
4
14
Journal, "Schedule of Time,", 1932-1936
4
15
Journal, 1933
4
16
Journal, "Another Notebook of Another Try,", 1935
4
17
Journal, 1935
4
18
Journal, 1936
4
19
Journal, 1937
4
20
Journal, 1938
4
21
Expense Journal, 1940
4
22
Journal, 1939-1941
4
23
Journal, 1942-1946, 1949-1951
5
1
Journal, 1946-1948
5
2
Journal, 1969-1972
5
3
Journal, 1973-1975
5
4
Journal, 1976-1979
(2 folders)
5
5-6
Journal, 1980
5
7
Journal, 1981-1982
5
8
Journal, 1983
5
9
Journal, 1984
5
10
Journal, 1985
5
11
Journal, 1986
5
12
Journal, 1987
5
13
Journal, 1988
5
14
Journal, 1991
5
15
Journal, 1992
5
16
Journal, 1993
5
17
Journal, 1994
5
18
Journal, 1995
6
1
Journal, 1996
6
2
Journal, 1997
6
3
Journal, 1998
6
4
Journal, 1999
6
5
Journal, 2000
6
6
Journal, 2001
6
7
Journal, 2002
6
8
Journal, 2003
6
9
Journal of Jane Hahmeyer (née Cutler), 1938
6
10

Series 7: Writings and Notes , circa 1928-2004
(Box 6-7; 1.0 linear foot)

Writings and notes include to-do lists, documentation on people Bunn knew, his artworks, lists of personal belongings, and topics of interest, such as astrology and steamboats. One note card file box contains notes arranged by subject. Also found are five notebooks, including three that Bunn kept while a student at the University of Iowa for notes on art projects and university life. Two later notebooks contain notes on various subjects. Other miscellaneous writings include draft letters and project ideas.
Description Container Select
Notebook, State University of Iowa, 1930
6
11
Notebook, "Ideas,", 1930-1931
6
12
Notebook, "The Ideal University,", 1932
6
13
Notebook, circa 1960s-1990s
6
14
Notebook, circa 1982-1983
6
15
Notes on Astrology, circa 1931-1965
(3 folders)
6
16-18
Notes on Steamboats, circa 1940s
(2 folders)
6
19-20
To-Do Lists, 1939
6
21
Notes and Lists, circa 1935-2004
(4 folders)
6
22-25
Notecard File, circa 1940s-1990s
7
1
Student Essay on Chemistry, circa 1928-1929
7
2
Call Slips for Bibliography, circa 1930s
7
3
Miscellaneous Writings and Notes, circa 1961-1994
7
4
Writings by Others, circa 1938-1990s
7
5

Series 8: Printed Material , 1896-2009
(Box 7-8, 12, OV 21; 1.4 linear feet)

Printed material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, primarily for group exhibitions including works by Bunn, books, magazines and news clippings, and Treasury Department bulletins. Also found are announcements of mural competitions, Bunn's collection of postcards depicting river scenes and boats, as well as other published images of steamboats.
Description Container Select
Book, Moon Sign Book, 1953
7
6
Book, Three Frontiers, by Robert Claiborne Pitzer, Illustrations by William Bunn, 1938
7
7
Book, Wall to Wall America: A Cultural History of Post Office Murals in the Great Depression, 1982
7
8
Book, Untitled Masonic Book, 1896
7
9
Bulletin, Section of Painting and Sculpture, Nos. 2-7, 1935
7
10
Bulletin, Treasury Department Art Projects, Nos. 8-14, 1938
(2 folders)
7
11-12
Bulletin, Section of Fine Arts, Nos. 19-20, 1939
7
13
Bulletins, University of Iowa, 1933, 1938
7
14
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1936-1941
(3 folders)
7
15-17
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1942-1949, 1983-1990
(2 folders)
8
1-2
Magazines, 1988, 1990
(Oversized items housed in box 12)
8
3
News Clippings, circa 1929-2009
(2 folders)
8
4-5
Poetry Excerpts, circa 1960s-2005
8
6
Postcard Collection of River Life and Boats, circa 1940s-1960s
8
7
Posters, circa 1980s
(Oversized items housed in OV 21)
8
8
Printed Material regarding Steamboats, 1929-1993
(6 folders)
8
9-14
Publications regarding Mural Competitions, 1938-1940
8
15
Simplified Scientific Ephemeris, circa 1940s-1959
(2 folders)
8
16-17
Theater Programs, circa 1932-1936, 1997
8
18
Miscellaneous Printed Material, circa 1930s-2004
8
19
Oversize Magazines, 1988, 1990
(Oversized items from box 8, folder 3)
12
Posters, circa 1980s
(Oversized items items from box 8, folder 8)
OV 21
8

Series 9: Photographs , 1863-1990s
(Box 8-9, 13; 1.6 linear feet)

Personal photographs include snapshots and portraits of Bunn, photographs of his wife, Annavene, and children, Cheri and Eric. Also found are numerous photographs of family and friends, including two family photograph albums. Many of these photographs are unidentified. Photographs also depict artwork by Bunn, however, researchers should note that additional photographs of artwork are included among the project files in Series 3. Additional photographs depict various subjects that were of interest to Bunn and may have been used as references for his artwork, including nature scenes, steamboats, airplanes, and bridges.
Description Container Select
William Bunn, 1929-1990s
(4 folders)
8
20-23
Annavene Bunn, circa 1930s-1940s
(2 folders)
8
24-25
Family, circa 1900-1960s
(3 folders)
8
26-28
Family and Friends, circa 1930s-1990s
(7 folders)
8
29-35
Chari Bunn Petrowski Dance Recitals, 1963-1964
9
1
50th Wedding Anniversary, circa 1989
(2 folders)
9
2-3
Hawaii Vacation, 1989
(2 folders)
9
4-5
Vacation, circa 1950s
9
6
Family Photograph Album, 1863-early 1900s
9
7
Family Photograph Album, 1920s-1930s
(Oversized item housed in box 13)
9
8
Loose Page from Photograph Album, circa 1942
9
9
Photographs for Torso Project, 1930s
9
10
Artwork, 1930s-1990s
(3 folders)
9
11-13
Airplanes and Gliders, circa 1948-1970s
9
14
Bridges, circa 1930s-1940s
9
15
Houses, circa 1970s
9
16
Landscapes and Nature, 1950s-1980s
(2 folders)
9
17-18
Medal Designs, circa 1963
9
19
Neo-classical Iowa City House, 1990
9
20
River Scenery, circa 1930s-1950s
9
21
Steamboats, circa 1930s-1950s
(3 folders)
9
22-24
Miscellaneous Photographs, circa 1930s-1980s
9
25
Lithograph Printing Plates, circa 1950s
9
26
Slides, circa 1962-1989
9
27
Oversize Family Photograph Album, 1920s-1930s
(Oversized item from box 9, folder 8)
13

Series 10: Artwork , circa 1926-2004
(Box 9-11, 14, OVs 22-30, RD 32; 2.3 linear feet)

Artwork primarily consists of pencil drawings, watercolors, and pastels. Found here are costume and theater designs created as part of William Bunn's thesis at University of Iowa. Also included are drawings and watercolors for potential art projects. Researchers should note that many of the miscellaneous drawings here were most likely preliminary drawings and studies for works documented in Series 3: Project Files or technical drawings from his work as an industrial designer. Drawings frequently depict steamboats, airplanes, people, and mechanical designs. Additionally, there are four sketchbooks. Two of these sketchbooks contain sketches and notes for the post office murals in Minden, Nebraska, and Hamburg, Iowa.
Description Container Select
Artwork by Others, circa 1933
(Oversized items housed in box 14)
9
28
Christmas Card Design, 2000
9
29
Costume Designs, circa 1933-1934
(3 folders; oversized items housed in box 14)
9
30-32
Drawings for "Classroom Teaching,", circa 1955
10
1
Drawings for "Deva Officiating in the Blue Temple,", 1955
10
2
Drawings for "Deva Officiating in the Crimson Temple,", circa 1950s
10
3
Drawings for "Education Forming Mental Images,", circa 1955
10
4
Drawings for "First Meeting at Colony,", circa 1955
10
5
Drawings for "View of the Grounds,", circa 1955
10
6
Drawings of Automobiles, 2004
10
7
Drawings of Steamboats, circa 1940s-1960s
(Oversized items housed in OV 22)
10
8
Drawings, "New Paintings Project Ideas,", circa 1940s-1960s
10
9
Drawings, "Potential Art Projects,", circa 1940s-1970s
(5 folders)
10
10-14
Drawings, Miscellaneous, circa 1928-1980s
(3 folders; oversized items housed in box 14, OVs 23-27, and RD 32)
10
15-17
Figure Drawings, circa 1930s
(Oversized items housed in box 14)
10
18
House Plans, circa 1979
(Oversized items housed in box 14)
10
19
Painting of Airplane, circa 1940s
10
20
Painting of Swimming Pool, circa 1940s
10
21
Painting of War Scene, circa 1940s
(Oversized item housed in OV 28)
10
22
Painting of a Woman, circa 1940s
10
23
Paintings of Portaits on Board, circa 1940s
10
24
Paintings, Miscellaneous, circa 1930s-1960s
(Oversized items housed in OVs 29-30)
10
25
Pastel Portraits, circa 1930s
(Oversized items housed in box 14)
10
26
Puppet Sketchbook, circa 1931-1994
10
27
School Artwork, circa 1926-1933
(Oversized items housed in box 14)
11
1
Sketchbook, Library Triptych Mural, 1936-1937
11
2
Sketchbook #4, 1937
11
3
Sketchbook #5, 1940
11
4
Studies on Anatomy, circa 1940s
11
5
Theater Designs, circa 1930s
(Oversized items housed in box 14)
11
6
Thesis, "A Project in Stage Design for an Early Eighteenth Century Play "The Mourning Bride" of William Congreve,", 1936
11
7
Thesis Tracings and Drawings, 1936
(3 folders)
11
8-10
Watercolor by Cheri Bunn, 1951
11
11
Oversize Artwork by Others, circa 1933
(Oversized items from box 9, folder 28)
14
Oversize Costume Designs, circa 1933-1934
(Oversized items from box 9, folder 32)
14
Oversize Drawings, Miscellaneous, circa 1928-1980s
(Oversized items from box 10, folder 17)
14
Oversize Figure Drawings, circa 1930s
(Oversized items from box 10, folder 18)
14
Oversize House Plans, circa 1979
(Oversized items from box 10, folder 19)
14
Oversize Pastel Portraits, circa 1930s
(Oversized items from box 10, folder 26)
14
Oversize School Artwork, circa 1926-1933
(Oversized items from box 11, folder 1)
14
Oversize Theater Designs, circa 1930s
(Oversized items from box 11, folder 6)
14
Oversize Drawings of Steamboats, circa 1940s-1960s
(Oversized items from box 10, folder 8)
OV 22
Oversize Drawings, Miscellaneous, circa 1928-1980s
(Oversized items from box 10, folder 17)
OV 23-27
Oversize Painting of War Scene, circa 1940s
(Oversized item from box 10, folder 22)
OV 28
Oversize Paintings, Miscellaneous, circa 1930s-1960s
(Oversized item from box 10, folder 25)
OV 29-30
Oversize Drawings, Miscellaneous, circa 1928-1980s
(Oversized items from box 10, folder 17)
RD 32

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.