Harvey Dunn

1884 – 1952

Harvey Dunn


Manchester, South Dakota


Frontier genre and marine painting, illustration

Harvey Thomas Dunn is best known as an illustrator, painter, and muralist. Though based in the East, particularly New Jersey and New York, his native state of South Dakota remained the inspiration for his finest works, which were scenes of prairie life and toil.

Born in 1884 in Manchester, in the Red Stone Valley of South Dakota, he was raised in a sod house on the prairie, where he lived with his parents until he was 17 years old. There Dunn, a large boy, devoted his time to farm chores, school, and his drawing. During a year he spent at the South Dakota Agriculture College in 1901, his teacher Ada Caldwell, an influential South Dakota artist herself, recognized Dunn’s abilities. She encouraged him to continue his studies at the Chicago Art Institute, which he did, and Dunn always acknowledged the opportunities she opened to him