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Louis Bunin collection

Identifier: AG 146

Scope and Contents

The Louis Bunin collection contains two series: one containing papers and the other photographic materials.

Series one includes newspaper clippings, programs, and press prints related to Bunin and Tina Modotti. It also includes three photographs of Mexican paintings by unidentified photographers.

Series two contains twelve photographs of varying sizes by unidentified photographers. The subject of these photographs is Bunin and his puppet shows.


  • 1928-circa 1940


Language of Materials

Material in English Spanish

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Biographical Note

Louis Bunin was born circa 1904 in Russia and came to the United States as a child. He reportedly studied at the Chicago Art Institute before living and painting in Paris and Spain in 1925. Bunin and his wife, Alice, moved to Mexico City in 1928 at the invitation of Diego Rivera, who had interested Bunin in mural painting. While there, Bunin taught puppet theatre to boys at the Casa del Estudiante Indígena. He and his students produced at least two plays in 1928/29; "The Hairy Ape" by Eugene O'Neill, and "El Conejo Astuto" [The Astute Rabbit], an adaptation of a Mexican folk tale.

Tina Modotti photographed Bunin and his puppets during this period. One of her most widely recognized images, “The Hands of the Puppeteer,” is of Bunin. In all, twenty-one photographs by Modotti are included in this collection. Each is individually cataloged in the CCP database. The supporting documentary materials are part of the CCP archives and are described in this inventory.


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Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Papers of Louis Bunin (1904-1994), artist and puppeteer. Includes documentation of puppet shows produced in Mexico City and New York as photographed by Tina Modotti and others, 1928-circa 1940.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Papers, n.d., 1928-circa 1940, 9 folders
  2. Series 2: Photographic materials, n.d., 12 photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was purchased from Bunin's daughter, Zena Bunin, in 1993.

Processing Information

Finding aid updated by Meghan Jordan in May 2016, and by Tai Huesgen in August 2020.

Louis Bunin collection 1928-circa 1940
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2020
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid encoded in English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States