Four renowned illustrators have donated artworks to the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, part of Washington University Libraries’ Special Collections, in honor of celebrated alumnus Jack Unruh, who earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1957.
Unruh, who died last year, was known for illustrations of the natural world and outdoor activities, as well as playful invented scenes. The donated artworks — all portraits of Unruh — were commissioned by Garden & Gun magazine to accompany a remembrance by Unruh’s friend and collaborator Bill Heavey. John Hendrix, associate professor in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, depicts “Jack the Campfire Sitter.” Tim Bower showcases “Jack the Fisherman.” Joe Ciardiello and John Cuneo pay homage to “Jack the Duck Hunter” and “Jack the Quail Hunter,” respectively.
A 2006 inductee into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, Unruh’s work appeared in a wide range of national publications, from Time, Rolling Stone and Atlantic Monthly to Sports Illustrated, National Geographic and Field & Stream. From 2007 until his death, he was a regular contributor to Texas Monthly, illustrating 105 columns by David Courtney, a.k.a. the Texanist.
Unruh’s archives are housed in the Dowd Modern Graphic History Library. Last fall, Herring Press published “FISH & Other Stories as My Pen Remembers Them,” a collection of drawings from his field journals as well as full-color works inspired by his travels. Proceeds from the book will go toward a scholarship fund established in Unruh’s honor in the Sam Fox School.