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, Lion, n.d., Oil on canvas, 165.1 × 327.6 cm, Fort Worth Zoological Association, Texas, USA, Photo: Jeremy Enlow

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Winding Zebra, n.d., oil on canvas, 51.2 × 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, Jackson, Wyoming, USA

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Warriors on the Path in Front of Mount Kibo, 1917, oil on canvas, 100 × 163 cm, Courtesy Kunst-Kompetenz Petra Kern, Heidelberg

Giraffe, Collectible trading cards, after originals by Wilhelm Kuhnert, from Stollwerck collector’s album no. 6: Stollwerck’s Tierreich, 1903–4, color autotype, 4.8 × 9.2 cm, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv zu Köln

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Landscape by the Ruvu, 1905, oil on canvas, 38.5 × 64.3 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, The Haul (Self-Portrait), 1915, oil on canvas, 122.7 × 199 cm, private collection, photo: Marc Richter

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Recumbent Rhinoceros, n.d., pencil, 25.7 × 32.3 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, A Suspicious Noise, n.d., oil on canvas, 37 × 53 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Head of a Lion in Profile, n.d., oil on canvas, 87 × 101.5 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, The Battle of Mahenge, n.d., oil on canvas, 30 × 60 cm, Sammlung Philipp Spangenberg, photo: Jens Nober

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

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Megalomania, n.d., watercolor, 15.2 × 22 cm, private collection, photo: Jens Weyers

Wilhelm Kuhnert, African Lions, ca. 1911, oil on canvas, 162.6 × 127 cm, JKM Collection®, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming, USA

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