Heinrich Kuhn 1866-1944 : pictorialist photographer and inventor

Heinrich Kühn made his first photographs in 1879, but he did not devote himself solely to photography until 1888. He studied botany and medicine, but he never practiced his vocation. Instead he went to Vienna and took portraits and joined the Vienna Camera Club. Here he met Professor Hans Watzek and Hugo Henneberg. The three men experimented with a multiple gum-bichromate process for color prints and together were known as the “Trifolium”. The three founded the German-Austrian school of photography in 1912 and championed pictorialism. Kühn liked the idea of being able to manipulate the photograph and because his gum bichromate technique was so advanced, he was later able to produce his images of landscapes, portraits and genre scenes as platinum and oil-transfer prints. In 1895 he became a member of The Linked Ring and throughout the years his work was reproduced in many publications including Camera Work. Kühn’s compositions were revolutionary at the time for emphasizing forms instead of details.

In the 1920s Kühn moved away from the idea of manipulating the print and instead believed it better to use a more straightforward approach to photography. He worked on various commercial assignments for magazines and later in 1927 he worked in the editorial section ofPhotographische Rundschau und Mitteilungen. In 1937 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Innsbruck for his contribution to the scientific and artistic aspects of photography. His work can be found in such collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1988 Residenz Verlag published a book on Kühn entitled, Heinrich Kühn Photographien.

-Contributed by Lee Gallery-

Heinrich Kuhn

“Venice”, 1907

Heinrich Kuhn

“The Kuhn Children, Tyrol”, 1907

Heinrich Kuhn

In the Mountains”. 1930

Heinrich Kuhn

“Drug & Dahlien, Tyrol” 1920

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1898

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1908

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1910

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1914

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1910

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1913

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1912

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1905

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1910

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1912

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1908

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1897

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1912

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1913

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1913

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1908

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1907

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1908

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1920

Heinrich Kühn Photography

Heinrich Kühn Photography

Heinrich Kühn Photography

Heinrich Kühn Photography

Heinrich Kühn Photography

Heinrich Kühn Photography

Heinrich Kühn Photography

Heinrich Kühn Photography

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