Lucinda Bunnen grew up Lucinda Weil on a rural New York farm, where she milked cows and gathered eggs in her youth. Almost half her life later, in the 1970s, she made her first photographs. Nowadays, she may be as well known for her shooting and collecting of pictures as she is for her philanthropic efforts, many of which involve the arts. She has philanthropy in her family tree: One of her great-uncles was Julius Rosenwald, a CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Company in its heyday who collaborated with Booker T. Washington and created schools for black students throughout the American South. Bunnen cites her mother, an organic chemist and entrepreneur who also painted and wrote poetry, as an early artistic influence.
Any list of Bunnen’s arts activities not aspiring to the encyclopedic must necessarily be partial. She made a splash with an early series of portraits, later collected in the book Movers & Shakers in Georgia; cofounded Nexus, precursor to the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; collaborated with Virginia Warren Smith on books about Alaska and cemetery art; donated significant collections of photographs to the High Museum, which has shown parts of those holdings on multiple occasions; and juried or curated numerous exhibitions. She received the Nexus Award in 2013, and in 2015 she was inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers. Institutions that own her work include the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Moscow’s Pushkin Museum. Bunnen’s work can also be seen in Atlanta at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the Loudermilk Conference Center.[Edited and condensed.]