Excerpts from a History of International Acclaim
"His work is charming."
"Bulman has great powers of absorption,...imagination,..and a feel for composition and color....Most of all one comes away from this show with a sense of the painter's urgency,
which is tempered by warmth and skill."
Wisconsin State Journal, 1952
"In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Orville Bulman, a matter-of-fact citizen, is the perfect refutation that businessmen are too unromantic to become artists."
Life Magazine, 1953
Bulman's work "is in the fine tradition of Adolf Dehn, Grant Wood and others or our American school...It is astounding to realize that Bulman has been painting only the last seven years."
Peter Pollack, Art Institute of Chicago, 1953
"Perhaps his genius touches its apex in his unfailing injection of mood and atmosphere into each canvas and again his uncanny knack of building up of details – details so innocent in themselves but in sum total suddenly strikes home with a devastating effect to the gravity of the observer"
Eleanor Jewett, art critic for the Chicago Tribune, in a Grand
Central Art Galleries catalog, New York, 1955
"The perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of our day is found in the delightful paintings of Orville Bulman...he is a born artist...and a disciplined genius...the delicious mischief, minus malice, runs through them like a scarlet thread, fascinating the spectator and robbing the art of not a whit of its dignity. The foibles of humanity tossed into our laps by this artist are invitations to friendships."
Eleanor Jewett, Chicago Tribune, 1955
"Here was an original talent, with a sure instinct for atmosphere, mood and color..."
Inez Robb, Grand Central Art Galleries catalog, New York, 1957
"A luminous and poetic joy is in the work of Orville Bulman."
Revue Moderne, Paris, 1959
"Orville Bulman is a painter of astonishing, empowering technique, a delicate colorist, full of nuance, a complete artist with a sensibility of a painter and added that of a poet."
P. Mornand, Paris, 1959
"Bulman's Island - An island of humor and color, laughter and love."
Raymond Burr, Los Angeles, 1961
"Never did an artist receive so many congratulations so gracefully, and hardly ever have there been so many people who exclaimed, 'What all sold! But I cam here to get one.' "
Lawrence Dame, Palm Beach Illustrated, 1961
"These paintings...are wonderfully evocative of an era in jazz music that is fast disappearing
in the glare of today's commercialism."
Grand Rapids publication clipping, circa 1960s
"If you wish you can wander down a sandy lane and easily lose yourself in the gaiety and charm of the landscape, the colorful houses, ...the rhythmatic motion of the natives as they go about their chores. You will be caught up in the activity of this bustling island. Everything sways: the towering palm trees, the children, the baskets of fruit balanced on a maiden going to market."
Palm Beach Life
“Laughter is accomplished with kindness and grace by Orville Bulman.”
Status/Diplomat Magazine, 1968
"Actually, Bulman is a careful, positive, meticulous sophisticate who paints in a primitive manner. His canvases grow larger each year and the atmosphere remains joyous and affectionate.."
Christian Science Monitor, 1969
“The painter invites you to burst into a gay song.”
Arts Magazine, 1969
“Disbelief is suspended and the viewer is captivated by his magic.”
Arts Magazine, 1971
“His Medium? Joy.”
Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 1973
“I predict in the future that museums will scramble to collect his work. I also predict that his jungle scenes in future times will command astronomical prices. Bulman is a great artist – one
of the greats of this century.”
Art Gallery Digest, New York, mid-1970s
"At mid-century and later one of Grand Rapids' most successful artists was
Orville Bulman, another industrialist."
Grand Rapids Magazine, Feb. 1976
"One of the world's leading painters."
Palm Beach Daily News, 1978
"Visual Arts news is front and center this summer, beginning with the
Grand Rapids Art Museum's announcement that it has set aside space in
its Pearl Street lobby to spotlight new acquisitions…it will give our visitors great pride in what we own. It also will serve to remind people of our growth and vitality.' Vitality is an apt word to describe the first work to occupy the space: THE THREE GRACES by Grand Rapids industrialist and painter Orville Bulman."
Grand Rapids Magazine, August, 1994
"A generous benefactor...By all accounts Bulman led a dignified life....An admirer of
African-Americans...Bulman's Island endures."
Gary Schwan, Palm Beach Post, 2005
"He was also a talented artist who painted his own charming world.”
Gary Schwan, Palm Beach Post, 2006
“This successful businessman who became president of his company essentially was a self-taught artist who went far beyond cartooning to create paintings
that are delightfully imaginative and fanciful.”
Sylvia Krissoff, Grand Rapids Press 2006
"He recalls artist Orville Bulman as 'one of the most inventive and imaginative businessmen
and painters I’ve known.' The Bulman estate created an arts fund at the Community Foundation.'"
Grand Rapids Foundation, 2007, quoting Conrad Bradshaw, who with his wife, Molly, are donors
to the Grand Rapids Arts Council.
"His whimsical paintings of graceful women and men with their playful children had an international appeal and helped transcend color barriers."
Lola Thelin, Palm Beach Illustrated, March 2010
"Bulman's success makes sense in the context of mid-20th century America, which loved the idea of unschooled genius." Peter Trippi, Fine Arts Connoisseur, March/April 2012