Gus Dunbier was known for his colorful impressionist landscape paintings.
Dunbier was born to a German-immigrant family on their farm in Polk County, Nebraska. The family returned to Germany in 1899, and in 1907 Dunbier enrolled at the Royal Academy in Dusseldorf. He studied with the Impressionist, Adolf Munzer, until the outbreak of World War I when he returned to the United States.
Dunbier enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago for the winter of 1914-1915, studying with Walter Ufer. He served in the Army during the War, followed by a year in New York painting with George Luks. Dunbier then set up a studio in Omaha, Nebraska and established himself as a full-time easel painter. In addition to landscapes, he painted portrait commissions, did restoration work for the Joslyn Art Museum, and taught classes at the Museum, the YMCA, and his own studio.
Dunbier traveled extensively, painting most of his canvases on location. In 1920 Ufer invited him to visit Taos something he continued to do for many summers through the remainder of his life. Ufer and E.I. Couse sponsored Dunbier’s membership in the Salmagundi Club.
The summers of 1926 and 1928 found Dunbier in Sitka, Alaska, and in 1930 he began painting trips to Arizona and California. From 1963 to 1970 he spent every winter but two painting in Tucson. When his son was at Oxford University in the 1950s and early 1960s he made several painting trips to Europe. He also enjoyed painting on the Northeast and Northwest coasts and in Mexico. Despite all of his travels, the majority of his paintings were Nebraska landscapes and his views of winter on the prairies were especially popular.