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Jack Unruh Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Original Artwork

Artwork Reproductions

Research Material

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Jack Unruh Collection, 1980-2011 | MGHL Dowd Modern Graphic History Library

By Special Collections Staff and Jolie Braun

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Collection Overview

Title: Jack Unruh Collection, 1980-2011Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: MGHL/mghl00001

Primary Creator: Jack Unruh.

Extent: 0.0 Linear Feet


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)

Date Acquired: 00/00/2008. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Illustrators--United States, Magazine Illustration, Magazine illustration--20th century, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Unruh, Jack

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection includes material relating to Jack Unruh's creation of original artwork, and artwork reproduced from magazines, publications, and other materials.

Collection Historical Note

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.


Hendrix, John. “Interview with Jack Unruh.” Drawing on Deadline, May 17, 2007. http://johnhendrix.blogspot.com/2007/05/interview-with-jack-unruh.html.

“Jack Unruh, 7/31/1935-5/16/2016.” Jack Unruh, Illustrator, n.d. http://www.jackunruh.com/bio.html.

Jack Unruh, illustrator. Bak Magazine, 2006.

Unruh, Jack. Texas Brushstrokes, Artist Catalog, n.d.

Subject/Index Terms

Illustrators--United States
Magazine Illustration
Magazine illustration--20th century
Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
Unruh, Jack

Administrative Information

Repository: MGHL Dowd Modern Graphic History Library

Accruals: An accrual was made in 2011 and has been interfiled as boxes 23-39.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions to access.

Use Restrictions:

Some restrictions, please contact the Modern Graphic History Library Curator at (314) 935-7741 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu.

Users of the collection must read and abide by the Rules for the use of Modern Graphic History Library materials.

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.

Acquisition Method: 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

Processing Information: This collection was processed by Skye Lacerte, January 2009.

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Jolie Braun, July 2012.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Original Artwork],
[Series 2: Artwork Reproductions],
[Series 3: Research Material],

Series 3: Research MaterialAdd to your cart.
Box 15Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Reference ImagesAdd to your cart.
3 items
Box 20Add to your cart.
Folder 1: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
22 items
Folder 2: PhotocopiesAdd to your cart.
7 items
Folder 3: CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
3 items
Sub-Series 1: AccrualAdd to your cart.
Box 39Add to your cart.
Folder 1-2: Computer Print OutsAdd to your cart.
25 items
Folder 3: Photocopies of ArtworkAdd to your cart.
10 items

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Original Artwork],
[Series 2: Artwork Reproductions],
[Series 3: Research Material],

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