KING OF THE ANIMALS. WILHELM KUHNERT AND THE IMAGE OF AFRICA

OCTOBER 25, 2018 – JANUARY 27, 2019

Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865–1926) shaped the concept of Africa in Europe and in the United States more than any other painter of his time. In the late 19th and early 20th century, he was one of the first European artists to set out on a number of journeys to the colony of German East Africa, which at that time was still largely unexplored. The drawings and oil sketches of the flora and fauna in the region that he made during these trips served as references for monumental paintings that he later produced in his studio in Berlin. Kuhnert exhibited his works internationally with great success, consequently becoming the leading interpreter of African wildlife.

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Der Jäger mit der Strecke, 1915, oil on canvas, 122.7 x 199 cm, private collection, photo: Marc Richter

The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the first comprehensive retrospective on the life and work of the artist Wilhelm Kuhnert.

From October 25, 2018 to January 27, 2019, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the first major retrospective on the life and work of the artist with some 120 works. Besides studies and paintings from European and American museums, private collections, and Kuhnert’s estate, the exhibition unites a large number of the artist’s printed and commercial graphic works and publications.

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Elefanten, 1917, oil on canvas, 121.9 × 218.4 cm, JKM Collection®, National Museum of Wildlife Art

KING OF THE ANIMALS. WILHELM KUHNERT AND THE IMAGE OF AFRICA

12.09.2018 | Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865–1926) shaped the concept of Africa in Europe and in the United States more than any other painter of his time. In the late 19th and early 20th century, he was one of the first European artists to set out on a number of journeys to the colony of German East Africa, which at that time was still largely unexplored. The drawings and oil sketches of the flora and fauna in the region that he made during these trips served as references for monumental paintings that he later produced in his studio in Berlin. Kuhnert exhibited his works internationally with great success, consequently becoming the leading interpreter of African wildlife. From October 25, 2018 to January 27, 2019, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the first major retrospective on the life and work of the artist with some 120 works. Besides studies and paintings from European and American museums, private collections, and Kuhnert’s estate, the exhibition unites a large number of the artist’s printed and commercial graphic works and publications.

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Wilhelm Kuhnert, Löwe, n. d., oil on canvas, 183 x 274 cm, Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, Photo: Jeremy Enlow

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Zebra, n.d., oil on canvas, 51.2 x 75.3 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Elephants, 1917, oil on canvas, 121.9 × 218.4 cm, JKM Collection®, National Museum of Wildlife Art

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Krieger auf dem Pfad vor dem Kibo, 1917, oil on canvas, 99 x 165 cm, private collection

Based on a design by Wilhelm Kuhnert, collectors' card "Giraffe", Group 274, "Huftiere II", Stollwerck collectors' album Nr. 6, Stollwerk's Tierreich, 1903/04, colored autotype, Stiftung Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv zu Köln

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Landschaft am Ruvu, 1905, oil on canvas, 38.5 x 64.3 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Der Jäger mit der Strecke, 1915, oil on canvas, 122.7 x 199 cm, private collection, photo: Marc Richter

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Liegendes Nashorn, n. d., pencil, 25.7 x 32.3 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Verdächtiges Geräusch, n.d., oil on canvas, 37 x 53 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Löwenkopf im Profil, n.d., oil on canvas, 87 x 101.5 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Schlacht von Mahenge, after 1905, oil on canvas, 30 x 61 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Nober

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Askari, 1906, oil on canvas, 49.4 x 36 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Größenwahn, n. d., watercolor drawing, 15.2 x 22 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, African Lions, c. 1911, oil on canvas, 162.6 × 127 cm, The Robert S. and Grayce B. Kerr Foundation, National Museum of Wildlife Art

Wilhelm Kuhnert painting, September 9, 1911, © Estate Wilhelm Kuhnert

Wilhelm Kuhnert in his atelier, n.d., © Estate Wilhelm Kuhnert

Dr. Philipp Demandt, Curator of the exhibition "King of the Animals. Wilhelm Kuhnert and the Image of Africa", © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, photo: Gaby Gerster

Dr. Ilka Voermann, Curator of the exhibition "King of the Animals. Wilhelm Kuhnert and the Image of Africa", © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, photo: Gaby Gerster