A Finding Aid to the Dennis Miller Bunker Collection,
1882-1943
(bulk 1882-1890)
, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.bunkdenn
Creators:
Bunker, Dennis Miller, 1861-1890
Dates:
1882-1943
bulk 1882-1890
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The Dennis Miller Bunker collection of letters, an exhibition catalog, and photographs measures 0.4 linear feet and dates from 1882 to 1943, with the bulk of the material dating from 1882 to 1890. Most of the collection consists of letters to Bunker's friend Joseph Evans (46 letters) in New York City, written between 1882-1889. Four volumes of letterpress books, circa 1889-1890, contain letters to Bunker's fiancée Eleanor Hardy prior to their marriage in the fall of 1890, and his untimely death a few months later. There are also a 1943 exhibition catalog and three photographs of Bunker.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Dennis Miller Bunker collection of letters, an exhibition catalog, and a few photographs measures 0.4 linear feet and dates from 1882 to 1943, with the bulk of the material dating from 1882 to 1890. Most of the collection consists of letters. Letters dating from 1882 to 1889 are primarily to Bunker's friend Joseph Evans (46 letters) in New York City and discuss work, projects, his dislike of teaching, mutual interests and friends, and other topics. Four volumes of letterpress books, circa 1889-1890, contain letters to Bunker's fiancée Eleanor Hardy wherein he discusses their plans for the future, his work, his studio, friends, artists, and general news prior to their marriage in October, 1890 and his untimely death a few months later. There is also a 1943 exhibition catalog and three photographs of Bunker.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Due to the small size of this collection, there is only one series. Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Painter Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890) was born in New York City and from 1878 to 1881 studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League with William Merritt Chase. He traveled to Paris and attended the Ecole des Beaux Art where Jean-Leon Gerome was his teacher, graduating in 1885. He returned to the United States and took at job in Boston teaching at the Cowles Art School. That same year Bunker had his first one-man exhibition at the Noyes & Blakeslee Gallery in Boston. In the winter of 1885-1886 he met and befriended Isabella Stewart Gardner who became a great supporter and patron of his work. A few years later in 1887 Bunker met John Singer Sargent during Sargent's visit to Boston and, in 1888, spent the summer with Sargent at Calcot Mill in England painting plein-air landscapes. That summer was a turning point for Bunker's painting style as he became greatly influenced by impressionism and turned to brighter colors and looser brushwork. He brought this style back with him to Boston and was praised for his new work.
Bunker always felt like an outsider in Boston's society and in the Spring of 1889 resigned his teaching position at Cowles Art School, lived briefly that summer at Medfield, Massachusetts, and then moved back to New York City. Earlier that year he had met Eleanor Heady of Boston and they were married in October 1890. They moved into Sherwood Studios in New York City, but during a visit to Boston that Christmas Bunker fell ill and died at the age of 29.

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
The papers of Dennis Miller Bunker in the Archives of American Art were digitized in
2007
, and total
1237
images.
Processing Information
The Dennis Miller Bunker collection received a preliminary level of processing at some point after donation. Material was microfilmed in the order that it was donated on reels 1201, 2773, and 1817. The various accessions were merged and fully processed by Erin Corley in 2006 and digitized in 2007 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Author
Erin Corley
Sponsor
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Provenance
Letters were donated in 1974 by William and Geoffrey Platt, sons of Eleanor Hardy by her second marriage. Printed material and one photograph were donated in 1974 by Frederick D. Hill of Berry-Hill Galleries. Two photographs of Bunker were donated in 1977 by Catherine B. Ramsdell.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Dennis Miller Bunker collection is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
Dennis Miller Bunker collection, 1882-1943. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Material
Also found at the Archives of American Art is the Charles A. Platt letter collection. Platt was the second husband of Dennis Miller Bunker's wife Eleanor Hardy. Included in the collection are a letter from Platt to Bunker, a letter from Bunker to Anne Page, and other related items.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, American -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hardy, Eleanor Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Evans, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/