Augustus Dunbier Catalogue
Augustus Dunbier
Chronology
1888
1 January - the birth of Dunbier near Shelby in Polk County, Nebraska. The region was undergoing the “Blizzard of ‘88." New York City will get 20 inches of snow in March with 48mph winds that create 20-foot-high snow drifts. 400 pedestrians and horses freeze to death in the streets.

Santa Fe Railway now offers trains from Chicago’s Dearborn Station – the route Dunbier will take to the Southwest.

In Omaha, George W. Lininger opens his own art gallery to the public, while the pharmaceutical firm G.D. Searle Company has its beginnings there.

Chicago Society of Artists is formed.

Edward Bellamy publishes utopian novel, Looking Backward, 2000-1887, which depicts a happy, peaceful United States in the year 2000.

George Eastman markets the $25 Kodak Camera (“You press the button, we do the rest”).

Gauguin paints Jacob Wrestling with the Angel. Seurat’s Side Show, Van Gogh’s Night Café and Ensor’s Entrance of Christ into Brussels are some of the year’s most progressive paintings. In America, Childe Hassam’s Jour du Grand Prix (New Britain Museum of American Art) is outstanding.

Fall - Eakins lectures on anatomy at the National Academy of Design.

November - Benjamin Harrison elected president.
 
1889
1 January - Farmers in Kansas and Nebraska pay 18 to 24% interest rates on loans (rates go as high as 40%).

The Tacoma Building erected in Chicago. Architects Holabird and Roche used steel skeletal construction that serves as a load bearing metal.

Jane Addams opens Hull House and Theodore Steele opens the Indiana School of Art.

In Omaha, the 12-story New York Life Company building opens. It would become the First National Bank, then the Omaha Building.

September - Potter and Bertha Palmer purchase Degas’ On the Stage. Impressionism in America remains rather controversial.

9 December - Opening night at Adler and Sullivan’s Auditorium Theater in Chicago features Adelina Patti. U.S. President Harrison, the Marshall Fields, the Potter Palmers, the Pullmans are all in attendance.
 
1890
Chicago’s Interstate Industrial Exposition.

In Omaha, male visitor throws chair at and damages a Bouguereau nude called The Return of Spring (now in the Joslyn Art Museum).
 
1891
Burnham and Root’s Monadnock Building finished in Chicago.

February - Union League Club boasts first show of Monet’s works in America.

9 February - Opening of Chase’s Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art.

Summer - Potter Palmers purchase 8 works by Monet, 3 by Boudin and Degas’ Dancers Preparing for the Ballet (AIC).
 
1892
Grover Cleveland elected president.

D.H. Burnham and Co.’s Marshall Field Annex and Henry Ives Cobb’s Newberry Library are erected.

26 March - Death of Walt Whitman.

1 October - Opening of the University of Chicago.
 
1893
Winter - One of Chicago’s coldest in history. Financial panic, labor unrest and a major depression set in.

Carter Henry Harrison elected as the “World’s Fair Mayor”.

1 May - Official opening of the World’s Columbian Exposition.
 
1894
Tree Studio Building opens in Chicago.

Hamlin Garland publishes Crumbling Idols.

Walter Ufer begins extensive study in Hamburg and Dresden until 1896.
 
1895
Founding of the Chicago’s Palette and Chisel Club.
 
1896
McKinley elected U.S. president.

The Fine Arts Building opens in downtown Chicago: contains The Dial Bookstore, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Maurice Browne’s Little Theatre and studios.

The Society of Western Artists is founded.

In Omaha, the Burlington Station is completed in the style of a Doric Greek temple.

17 August - Gold is discovered in the Canadian Klondike near the border of Alaska (DUNBIER will be attracted to the area).
 
1897
17 December - Founding of The Ten American Painters.

Walter Ufer back in Dresden (1897-98).
 
1898
Dunbier visits Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha. Sees “real paintings” for the first time, and is inspired to become a painter.

31 March - First group show of the Ten in Durand-Ruel’s New York gallery.
 
1900
Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie.

Sigmund Freud writes The Interpretation of Dreams.

Population of Omaha is 102,555.
 
1901
Pan-American Exposition opens in Buffalo.
 
1903
Dunbier’s father retires and moves back to Germany with some family members. Augustus studies the violin.

Lawton Parker is hired as principal at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
 
1904
Walter Ufer teaches at Smith’s Academy (Chicago).

7 June - In Omaha, the Auditorium opens. It is styled like a magnificent European opera house.

St. Louis Universal Exposition.

Dunbier would have seen Internationale Kunstausstellung in Düsseldorf.
 
1905
Founding of Die Brücke in Berlin, an avant-garde group that Dunbier hears about.
 
1906
Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle is an exposé of Chicago’s meat-packing industry.
 
1907
DUNBIER admitted to Düsseldorf Royal Academy, where he studies for 7 years. His teacher, Adolf Münzer (b. 1870), takes students to paint en plein air and DUNBIER learns something about impressionism from Münzer. During that time he wins prize in stained-glass design. The same academy rejected Adolf Hitler’s application twice Max Liebermann, whose art would have appealed to DUNBIER, paints Jewish sections of Amsterdam.
 
1909
DUNBIER surely would have attended the Sonderbund exhibition in Düsseldorf, Cologne and other cities. In Cologne he is with his friend Max Ernst.

German Expressionist Emil Nolde paints The Last Supper.
 
1910
Second Sonderbund Exhibition in Düsseldorf.

Cudahy Packing Company moves from Omaha to Chicago.
 
1911
Franz Marc and Kandinsky found the editorial offices of Der Blaue Reiter.

The Brücke artists move to Berlin.

Walter Ufer is in Munich for two years.
 
1912
Fourth Sonderbund Exhibit in Cologne is seen as the precursor to the Armory Show a year later in New York.

Jung publishes Psychology of the Unconscious.
 
1913
Three significant literary publications in Germany, where DUNBIER still resides: Franz Wedekind’s Lulu, Kafka’s The Judgment and Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice.

Max Ernst participates in exhibition organized by the review Der Sturm in Berlin.
 
1914
1 August - Germany declares war on Russia.

3 August - Germany declares war on France.

DUNBIER returns to America and enrolls at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (winter term).
 
1915
DUNBIER becomes friend of Walter Ufer, 12 years his senior. Both have in common German parents plus extensive study periods in Germany.

Omaha’s Fontanelle Hotel opens.

16 March - DUNBIER appears in newspaper photo with Wellington J. Reynolds and fellow students protesting the conservative Municipal Art League.
 
1916
Woodrow Wilson attends Omaha’s Ak-Sar-Ben Parade, which celebrates Nebraska’s 50th year as a state.

DUNBIER opens first studio in Omaha; accepts Walter Ufer’s invitation to visit him in the Southwest.
 
1917
DUNBIER opens studio in Saganaw, Michigan, in a cabin he builds, possibly to avoid the draft.
 
1918
DUNBIER joins U.S. Army Camouflage Corps, Company A, 97th Engineers.
 
1919
6 January - Discharge of DUNBIER from the U.S. Army. He establishes second studio in Omaha.

Back in Cologne, Max Ernst founds Dada group.
 
1920
DUNBIER paints with Robert Spencer in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Ernst participates in Berlin Dada group fair, now a total modernist, unlike his American companion DUNBIER.
 
1921
DUNBIER, back in Nebraska, wins first prize at the Omaha Society of Fine Arts. Appointment books later in the year reveal that he socializes with Robert Henri, John Sloan and George Bellows, as well as George Luks, whom he met through Walter Ufer.
 
1922
DUNBIER makes first trip to Taos; also begins to visit Mexico; marries Augusta Mengedoht.
 
1923
DUNBIER exhibits portrait titled Edith at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The portrait actually represents Theresa Brooks, a flashy vaudeville performer, whom DUNBIER met through African-American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner.
 
1925
DUNBIER exhibits My Dog and I at the Society of Independent Artists; sponsored by Ufer and Eanger Irving Couse, he becomes member of Salmagundi Club and begins to exhibit there.

DUNBIER named “Outstanding Nebraska Painter” by PAFA jury.
 
1926
DUNBIER’s trip to Alaska. Group of Alaska pictures will be exhibited at Seattle Fine Arts Society, in San Francisco, and finally in Omaha’s Art Institute Gallery in the Aquila Court building.
 
1927
Rocky divorce from Augusta Mengedoht. DUNBIER sues her relatives for alienation of affections. Long battle ends in Nebraska Supreme Court; the painter wins $5,811.

Exhibits A Gray Day in Alaska at the Salmagundi Club.

June - DUNBIER takes a trip to Utah to paint the Zion Canyon for Union Pacific Railroad.
 
1928
DUNBIER submits work to San Antonio Art League competition. Spends the summer at Corpus-Christi with writer and landscape artist Theo J. Morgan (1872-1947), a student of Duveneck.

Revisits Alaska and the Northwest.
 
1930
Visits Arizona for the first time.

Opening of the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. Omaha Community Theater features Henry Fonda and Dorothy McGuire in A Kiss for Cinderella.
 
1931
A new Union Station opens in Omaha.
 
1932
27 July - DUNBIER marries Lou Ekstrom at San Bernardino, California. She is the daughter of Mrs. Alma Eckstrom of Newman Grove, Nebraska.
 
1933
July - DUNBIER paints at the Grand Canyon.
 
1934
2 January - Birth of Roger Augustus Dunbier.
 
1941
14 July - Max Ernst, having been released from a camp in Southern France, lands in New York; joins André Breton and Duchamp.
 
1943
Max Ernst moves to Sedona, Arizona.
 
1956
Dunbiers visit their son, who is studying in Oxford.
 
1976
2 April - Death of Max Ernst.
 
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