Kühn photographs coming to MFAH

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents over 100 photographs in this first major retrospective in the United States devoted to Austrian photographer and scientist Heinrich Kühn (1866-1944), an important figure in the international Pictorialist movement of the early 1900s and closely linked to Americans Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen.

Like his fellow Pictorialists, Kühn aspired to have photography recognized as an artistic medium and in his early work strived to create in his photographs the atmospheric effects of Impressionist paintings. He perfected printing process, such as gum bichromate, that gave him the freedom to manipulate tones, add or eliminate portions of his negatives details, and to print on papers with varied textures, giving him exceptional control over the final image. At times, the photographs had the character of etchings or charcoal drawings.

Kühn became renowned for the simple elegance of his compositions and for subjects ranging from intimate portraits and nudes to still lifes and rural scenes. Heinrich Kühn: The Perfect Photograph will be on view in Houston from March 6 to May 30.

The MFAH is the only venue in the United States for this retrospective, arriving in Houston after stops at the Albertina, Vienna and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. 

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