Heinrich Kuhn was a German photographer, writer and scientist. His first use of photography was his microphotography in medical research in histology and bacteriology at the Robert-Koch-Institut in Berlin. His asthmatic condition led him to abandon his job as a doctor and to move to Innsbruck, where he devoted himself to photography, supported by family wealth. His first influences were from the Vienna Secession and from Linked Ring, which he joined in 1896, encouraging him to take part in the international exhibition of art photography in Vienna in 1891. He was also strongly affected by his meeting with Hans Watzek at the Weiner Camera-Klub in 1894. Watzek, Hugo Henneberg and Kuhn worked together from 1896 on the multiple-gum printing technique to attain the broadest possible range of tonal values. They exhibited frequently together from 1897 to 1903 at Das Kleeblatt, publishing numerous articles on the techniques of artistic representation with which they made a case for photography as a fine art.
As we see in Sailing Boats, Kuhn was one of the finest photographers of the Secessionist and Pictorialist movement. He had an ability to take very intimate subjects, whether they were landscape or figurative, and imbue them with timeless modernity and statement.
In the latter part of his career his focus shifted to a more intimate domestic scale, often depicting still lifes, landscapes, or members of his family resting or playing around their home in Innsbruck, including our Sailing Boats. With it’s hazy rendering, Edeltrude and Walter focus on the launching of a toy boat
Greenwich Gallery, Greenwich, CT., until 2001
Private collection, Greenwich, CT., 2001 to present
Published in Camera Work nº XXXIII, 1911