William Hunter was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on 28 December 1890 . He studied drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art from 1906-1911 and received the Keppie travelling scholarship in 1913. He taught Antique: Preparatory Life from 1914-1915 on returning to the Glasgow School of Art. He was a painter in oil figures of conversation pieces, flowers and still life and was also an engraver. He was elected to the ROI in 1928, became Governor of the Glasgow School of Art, was president of the Scottish Artists Benevolent Association, secretary of the Royal Glasgow Institute and president of the Glasgow Art Club between 1938-40. He exhibited in the UK, North America and Europe.
His collection includes original illustrations drawn by A S Boyd (aka TWYM ) and Stephen Reid, both noted Scottish illustrators.