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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Copy for Bulman Exhibit Catalog

Galerie Andre Weil, October 1-14, 1959

For eight years American art collectors have acquired the paintings of Orville Bulman as rapidly as his work appeared. His nine one-man shows, held in New York, Chicago and Palm Beach, Florida, have all been sold out on their opening day. He has been painting for a little over a dozen years. 

If this is an unusual achievement, then even more surprising is the fact that the artist shares his successful painting career with the responsibility of heading two American manufacturing companies as their president. 

Orville Bulman always wanted to paint. He waited, however, until his early forties when he felt that his business obligations were sufficiently controlled to allow him the time to paint. 

From the first, it was plain that here was no ordinary Sunday painter. Here was an original talent with a sure instinct for atmosphere, mood and color. Virtually self-taught, loving the impact of intense color, Bulman first sought the island of Haiti for inspiration. In a short time, however, he abandoned this gay island as an inspirational font to paint a fantastic isle of his own – an imaginative world of wonderful brilliance where impossible boats sail through dazzling color and where lions and zebras lounge among gaily gingerbreaded houses – a “never-never” land of whimsical fantasy that his critics have called “Bulman Island.” 

In enjoying the wit and warmth of Bulman’s canvasses, you share with the artist the humor and gaiety he finds on his imaginative island. Yet, a deeper study of his work reveals a sure touch in the handling of strong color patterns and an instinctive sensitivity to units, a naïve boldness to an exhilarating style of his own. The enthusiasm of his many owners is understandable as is their conviction that the painting of Orville Bulman will be treasured over the years.

This copy, translated from the French, was discovered in a used book formerly owned by Orville Bulman.

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