The collection is divided into three series and ten subseries as follows:
Series 1: Original Artwork
Subseries 1: Artwork on Paper
Subseries 2: Oversized Artwork
Subseries 3: Accrual
Subseries 3a: Oversized Artwork
Series 2: Artwork Reproductions
Subseries 1: Smaller Reproductions
Subseries 2: Larger Reproductions
Subseries 3: Medium-Sized Reproductions
Subseries 4: Oversized Reproductions
Subseries 5: Accrual
Series 3: Reference Images (Images used as models in the form of computer printouts of photographs taken by the artist, as well as others found on the World Wide Web. Some reference images are kept with their corresponding drawings to maintain original order.)
Subseries 1: Accrual
The contents of each box are arranged by size as follows:
Box 1-14, Series 1: Original Artwork on Paper (Grouped drawings for projects; Individual drawings)
Box 15, Series 2: Artwork Reproductions (Magazine tear sheets; Commissioned by corporations; Commissioned by organizations; Commissioned by individuals; Publicity materials; Catalogs) ; Series 3: Reference Images
Box 16-18, Series 2: Artwork Reproductions (Magazine tear sheets; Commissioned by corporations; Publicity materials; Catalogs; Photocopies of Artwork)
Box 19, Series 2: Artwork Reproductions (Commissioned by corporations; Advertising materials; Postcards)
Box 20, Series 3: Reference Images (Photographs; Photocopies; Correspondence)
Box 21, Series 1: Original Artwork on Paper (Grouped drawings for projects)
Box 22, Series 1: Original Artwork on Paper (Grouped drawings for projects; Individual drawings); Series 2: Artwork Reproductions (Magazine tear sheets; Commissioned by corporations; Publicity material; Printed reproductions)
Box 23-37 Series 1: Original Artwork on Paper (Ink and color portraits; Grouped drawings for projects; Individual drawings)
Box 38 Series 2: Artwork Reproductions (Prints; Commissioned by corporations)
Box 39 Series 3: Reference Images (Computer print outs; Photocopies of artwork)
Jack Unruh (1935-2016) was born in Pretty Prairie, Kansas on July 31, 1935. He earned his BFA in Magazine Illustration from Washington University in St. Louis in 1957. Unruh was an accomplished illustrator who received several accolades throughout his career; some notable awards include the Distinguished Alumni Award, given by Washington University in St. Louis in 1988, and the induction into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2006.
While Unruh was born in the Midwest, he constantly moved around as a child because his father worked as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Some of Unruh’s favorite activities were hunting, fishing, and art. In an interview with Bak Magazine, Unruh claimed it was his father’s advice that caused him to become an artist rather than a ranger or warden as he initially planned.
Unruh’s love of the outdoors is apparent in his artwork; nature and human interaction within it are common themes in his pieces. His style was very distinct and often contained layers of textures. He worked primarily in pen and ink and many pieces only have select portions completely rendered with watercolor while other portions of the illustration remain as line drawings. He often implemented collage and hand written elements into his artwork. He implemented white space to command the viewer’s eye to the focal point of the piece.
Unruh had numerous illustrations and advertisements published in well-known magazines. His was featured in Aspen Sojourner, Sports Afield, Sports Illustrated, Open Spaces, Field & Stream, New York Magazine, National Geographic, and Entertainment Weekly. Unruh also had his illustrations published in numerous books, some of which include The Sportsman Guide to Texas, Art of Birds, and The Devil’s Backbone.
Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent to publish Modern Graphic History Library materials form.
All publication not covered by fair use restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.
The collection was donated to the Modern Graphic History Library by Jack Unruh in 2008.
Preferred Citation:Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections
Finding Aid Revisions: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Jolie Braun, July 2012.