Ken Bunn

Kenneth Bunn (1938-2020) breaths action and life into his animal sculpture. Through his strong, personal and interpretive style he imbues a vitality and energy in his subjects that reflect their zest for life. That elusive quality is often difficult to depict within his chosen medium – bronzes.

Bunn studied at the University of Utah and then apprenticed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Returning to his hometown of Denver, he continued to study anatomy while he worked for renowned taxidermist and sculptor Coloman Jonas.

Though some level of animal anatomy may be gleaned from textbooks, mastery of gestures, and inquisitive look, or specific behaviors, demands field studies. In addition to traveling to Africa, Europe, Mexico and numerous areas of North America, Bunn visits zoos and private reserves, which provide him with opportunities to enhance his work.

As an artist, he seeks to capture the “implied action” by creating sculptures that prolong or increase motion. To communicate the suggestion of movement and life, he will extend and animal’s leg or alter reality in some other way that will allow viewers to perceive the work’s meaning. While he concedes his pieces are not exactly scientific, he believes that “strict accuracy does not necessarily make a great sculpture.” In fact, Bunn believes too much information may stymie that artist’s imagination and creativity.

Noteworthy museum representation includes The Smithsonian Institution; The Royal Ontario Museum, Canada; Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana; the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming; the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin; the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Denver Art Museum, Colorado. Bunn’s recent monumental sculpture installations include Century Bank, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the University of Kentucky Campus, Lexington, Kentucky; the Westminster Schools, Atlanta, Georgia; and the Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado.

Bunn is a member of the National Academy of Design, a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society, the National Academy of Western Art and the Society of Animal Artists.

Ken Bunn passed away in October 2020, he was 82 years old.

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