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Heinrich Kühn
Selfportrait of Heinrich Kühn, Autochrome, 1907
Heinrich Kühn
Heinrich Kühn

Heinrich Kühn

Country: Austria / Germany
Birth: 1866 | Death: 1944

Carl Christian Heinrich Kühn (25 February 1866 in Dresden – 14 September 1944 in Birgitz) was an Austrian–German photographer and photography pioneer. Heinrich Kühn is regarded as one of the forefathers of fine art photography, which helped photography establish itself as an art on its own. His photographs closely resemble impressionist paintings, with their frequent use of soft lighting and focus. Kühn was part of the pictorialist photographic movement. Kühn mainly used the gum bichromate technique, applied in several layers, and thus allowing for previously unseen color tonalities.

In 1911, Kühn invented the Gummigravüre technique, a combination of photogravure and Gum bichromate. In 1915 he developed the Leimdruck technique, which uses Animal glue as Colloid and produces pictures similar to gum prints. He also invented the Syngraphie, a forgotten technique that uses two negatives of different sensitivity to obtain a larger tonal spectrum. Kühn used Autochrome from its appearance in 1907; his Autochromes have been called "ethereal dreams of childhood, full of vaulted sunny skies and giddy perspectives, as gloriously cathartic as they are emotionally charged".

Source: Wikipedia


Heinrich Kühn, originally Carl Christian Heinrich Kühn was born on February 25th, 1866 in Dresden, Germany. Kühn was one of the central figures of international art photography at the beginning of the twentieth century. His lifelong goal was to establish the photographic image as a medium for rendering an artistic vision as precisely and creatively as in painting and drawing. Along with Alfred Stieglitz and other friends, Kühn made the stylized photographic an element of the gesamtkunstwerk, which translates to "ideal work of art", which the Secessionists aspired to create. The most important tool for this was the gum bichromate process that he had perfected and the free choice of paper and pigment, which made the picture look more like a print than a conventional photograph. This allowed him to deliberately alter the brightness contrasts to fit his notion of the image and dissolve its sharpness. Too much sharpness was considered "non-artistic" because it veered away from painting, thus eliminating it where he saw fit. Kühn reduced the romantic cosmos of "Pictorialism" to the point of abstraction, thus exhibiting a sense of timelessness and balance.

Kühn's work is represented in many collections, including Eastman House Rochester (New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Kupferstich-Kabinett (Dresden), Hanmburgische Lichtbildstelle (Hamburg), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), and Musée d'Orsay (Paris).

Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery


 

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Ansel Adams
United States
1902 | † 1984
Ansel Adams was an American landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating "pure" photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. He and Fred Archer developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed during exposure, negative development, and printing. The resulting clarity and depth of such images characterized his photography. Adams was a life-long advocate for environmental conservation, and his photographic practice was deeply entwined with this advocacy. At age 12, he was given his first camera during his first visit to Yosemite National Park. He developed his early photographic work as a member of the Sierra Club. He was later contracted with the United States Department of the Interior to make photographs of national parks. For his work and his persistent advocacy, which helped expand the National Park system, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980. Adams was a key advisor in establishing the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an important landmark in securing photography's institutional legitimacy. He helped to stage that department's first photography exhibition, helped found the photography magazine Aperture, and co-founded the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. In his autobiography, Adams expressed his concern about Americans' loss of connection to nature in the course of industrialization and the exploitation of the land's natural resources. He stated, "We all know the tragedy of the dustbowls, the cruel unforgivable erosions of the soil, the depletion of fish or game, and the shrinking of the noble forests. And we know that such catastrophes shrivel the spirit of the people... The wilderness is pushed back, man is everywhere. Solitude, so vital to the individual man, is almost nowhere."Source: Wikipedia American photographer and environmentalist known for his black and white photographs of the American West in Sierra Nevada and in Yosemite National Park. Ansel Easton Adams was born in 1902 in an upper-class family. His family migrated from Ireland in the early 1700s. He was the only child of Charles and Olive Adams. His paternal grandfather founded a successful lumber business, which was later run by Ansel’s father. His mother’s family came from Baltimore. His maternal grandfather had a successful Freight-Hauling business, but squandered his wealth in numerous investment ventures. His nose was broken and scared during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 as an aftershock threw him up against a wall. After the death of his grandfather the family business was hit by the bank crisis of 1907 and by 1912, his family’s standard of living had been dearly impacted. Ansel was a hyperactive child prone to sickness. After being expelled from several schools due to his restlessness, at age 12, his father decided to tutor him at home with the help of professors and Ansel’s aunt. He soon became interested in music and started learning the piano, but all changed when aged 14, his aunt gave him a copy of “In the Heart of the Sierras”. The photographs by Georges Fiske were a revelation and Ansel persuaded his parents to visit Yosemite National Park during the following vacations. Equiped with a Kodak Box Brownie n°1, Ansel Adams first visited Yosemite National Park in 1916. Amazed by the site and the light, he returned to Yosemite National Park the following year with better cameras and a tripod. He will return regularly to Yosemite National Park where he will even meet his future wife, Virginia Best. At age 17, Adams joined the Sierra Club, a wildlife preservation group. He will remain a convinced environmentalist and a member of the Sierra Club his entire life. His work will promote the goals of the Sierra Club and bring environmental issues to light. In 1932, Adams founded the group f/64 with photographer friend Edward Weston, to promote their independent and modernist vision of photography. It is with Fred Archer that Adams will develop the Zone System (1939-40), a technique which allows photographers to define the proper exposure on negatives and adjust the contrasts on the prints. The depth and clarity of Ansel Adam’s photographs illustrate this technique. Initially, despite their size and weight, Ansel Adams used large format cameras as they offered a high resolution and a sharp image. The timeless photographs and the striking visual beauty clearly characterize Ansel Adams’ photographs. In 1952, he was also one of the founders of Aperture magazine. He died in 1984 from a cardio Vascular disease. Shortly after his death in 1984, the Minarets Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest was renamed the Ansel Adams Wilderness. In 1985, a peak in Sierra Nevada, was named Mount Ansel Adams. He was survived by his wife, two children and 5 grand children.Source: The Ansel Adams Gallery
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