Plein Air Heritage: W. Herbert Dunton -
Taos Artist W. Herbert Dunton Painting Outside, NM. Photographer: Edward Kemp, ca. 1925. Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (Negative #LS.0966)

As a plein air painter, you are part of one of the largest art movements in history. Learn about those who have helped start this movement in some way, and be inspired to continue your own journey.

Artist W. Herbert Dunton

Following our focus on artists whose paintings centered on conservation and preservation, we feature the early Taos, New Mexico, painter and printmaker W. Herbert Dunton. He was passionate about preserving the vanishing spirit of the Old West in his oil paintings, murals, and lithographs.

Dunton grew up working as a ranch hand and cowboy, studied at the Art Students League of New York, created illustrations for major magazines, and ultimately struggled with financial and health setbacks during the Great Depression.

Dunton is shown in this hand-tinted photograph working in New Mexico on a plein air painting of a cowboy on horseback.

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