Kuhn, Walt

Kuhn, Walt,

1880–1949, American painter, b. New York City. At the age of 19 he worked as a cartoonist in San Francisco, contributing later to Life magazine. After travel and study in Europe he devoted himself largely to oil painting. In 1913, in cooperation with his friend Arthur B. Davies, he was instrumental in assembling the famous Armory ShowArmory Show,
international exhibition of modern art held in 1913 at the 69th-regiment armory in New York City. It was a sensational introduction of modern art into the United States. The estimated 1,600 works included paintings representing avant-garde movements in Europe.
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. He is best known for his bold and brilliant interpretive portraits and figure studies of circus and backstage types, such as Blue Clown (Whitney Mus., New York City). He is represented in numerous American museums and several in Europe.
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Kuhn, (Walter Francis) Walt

(1877–1949) painter; born in New York City. He had a varied career as a bicycle shop owner and cartoonist before exhibiting at the Armory Show in New York (1913). From then on he experimented with different styles, particularly those of French painters such as Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. His mature work, which specialized in portraits of clowns and other circus performers, conveyed an emotionally charged, often stoic message, as seen in The Blue Clown (1931).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.