The Chicago Years

The Warren Hunter family lived in Chicago for four years, going home to Bandera for summers and Christmas. At the Chicago Art Institute, Hunterís course of study was primarily commercial art. He studied under the noted artists, Allen Philbrick (1879-1964) and E. A. Forsberg (1883-1950). Even though on the weekends he worked in the cloakroom of the Institute, they still spent many hours in either the Art Institute or the Field Museum of Natural History. While Warren was still in school, Dr. C. H. Langford commissioned him to paint a portrait of Jeff Hamilton, Sam Houstonís servant. Hamilton was 98-years old when Warren painted him seated on the front porch. This portrait now hangs in the San Jacinto Monument Museum. In 1938, and still a student at the Chicago Art Institute, Hunter won a U. S. Treasury Department Commission to paint a mural for the new post office in Alice, Texas. The 5x7 foot canvas was painted in Chicago and brought to Texas by the artist, who personally placed it in the lobby, where it stayed until 1969. A new post office was built in Alice that year and the Smithsonian Institution requested the 31-year-old mural for its portraits and fine arts collection. Hunter took off half the wall with the mural, but he got it to the Smithsonian. At the end of the four-year course of study in 1939, Warren Hunter graduated with honors,