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Dennis Miller Bunker



Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890) was an American Impressionist painter. Born in New York, Bunker enrolled in the National Academy of Design at the age of 15. He painted both portraits and landscapes, finding many of his subjects in Nantucket and Long Island. In 1882, he traveled to Paris and, wanting to study both liberal and conservative approaches to art, he enrolled in both the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julian. Upon his return to the United States, he began teaching at the Cowles Art School in Boston, where he met art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner who was able to connect him with many important Bostonians seeking portrait commissions and help him build his prestigious reputation. Bunker spent the summer of 1888 with John Singer Sargent and his family in England, having met the fellow artist while in France. Sargent introduced Impressionism to Bunker, who integrated the style into his landscapes but not his portraits, which remained realistic. Collectors back in Boston were not enthusiastic about his new approach, so the newly-inspired Bunker decided to resign from the Cowles School in 1889 with the goal of moving to New York and working as a full-time painter. Before relocating he spent the summer with his friend, Charles Martin, in Medfield, Massachusetts where he painted many bucolic landscapes. In December of 1890, he caught a cold and passed away, never fully realizing his dream.

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