Jack Unruh Collection.
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Biographical / Historical Note

Jack Unruh was born in Pretty Prairie, Kansas in 1935. The son of an Air Force pilot, the artist lived in a variety of places throughout his childhood until enrolling at the University of Kansas, Lawrence to study art. During a trip to St. Louis in his freshman year, Unruh visited Washington University where he toured an exhibit of illustrations by the recent graduate Bernie Fuchs. As a result of what he saw, Unruh decided to transfer to Washington University and major in Magazine Illustration. After graduating in 1958, he moved to Dallas, Texas to pursue his career. His first job was to design a logo for the city's "Help Keep Dallas Clean" campaign.

Unruh has since produced artwork for a diverse client base of magazines, corporations, and organizations. His work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, Texas Monthly, Rolling Stone, and Time and has been commissioned by such companies as MCI, Sony, IBM, and Budweiser.

Working with both real and imagined scenes, Unruh's work often employs a freer style in which scale and perspective are irrelevant. He is known for his practice of creating tiny pen and ink marks, combined with larger brush strokes, as an alternative to crosshatching to produce shading effects. He is considered an excellent caricaturist and one of the most prolific and recognized illustrators of his generation.

Unruh has won numerous awards including the Hamilton King Award for Illustration of the year from the New York Society of Illustrators in 1998. He was inducted into the society's Hall of Fame in 2006. As of 2009, he lives and works in Dallas.

Biography compiled by Skye Lacerte.