Reference Entry

Dunn, Harvey Thomas

in American National Biography Online


Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697

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artist, was born in Dakota Territory (near present-day Manchester, South Dakota), the son of William Thomas Dunn and Bersha Dow, farmers. He grew up on the family farm, where he displayed an early aptitude for drawing. He later recalled that he and his mother often sketched together in the evening after the chores were done. In 1901 he enrolled as a preparatory student at South Dakota Agricultural College (later South Dakota State University) in Brookings, where he took an art class taught by Ada Caldwell. “She opened new vistas for me,” recalled Dunn (Karolevitz, p. 21); she also encouraged him to apply to her alma mater, the Art Institute of Chicago. He attended the institute from 1902 to 1904, working as a custodian to help pay his tuition. In 1904 Dunn met Howard Pyle, the leading illustrator in America, who had come to Chicago from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, to give a lecture. Pyle invited Dunn to send examples of his work (not samples, said Pyle—“There are no samples of art!”) and, liking what he saw, invited the young Dakotan to become one of his students.

Reference Entry.  1693 words. 

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