Dennis Miller Bunker (1861–1890)
Having earned the patronage of Isabella Stewart Gardner, the friendship and support of John Singer Sargent, and his first solo exhibition by age twenty-three, Dennis Miller Bunker achieved remarkable renown during his brief lifetime. Stanford White considered him to be “one of the most talented young artists”, as evidenced by multiple posthumous retrospectives of Bunker’s work held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. From 1878-81, Bunker studied at the National Academy of Design under William Merritt Chase. Fishing Fleet, created during this period, is one of the rare, remaining early examples from Bunker’s oeuvre. Greatly influenced by his time spent with Sargent, Bunker pioneered Impressionism in the late nineteenth century, embracing and popularizing the techniques of Monet and the French Impressionists. During his career, Bunker exhibited extensively at prestigious venues including the National Academy of Design, the Brooklyn Art Association, and the Boston Art Club. Today, Bunker’s paintings are included in the collections of the Isabella Stewart Gardner, the Museum Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.