Walt Kuhn

Walter Kuhn
American 1877–1949
Young Woman with Crown and Cornucopia or Golden Horn, 1937
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower left: Walt Kuhn 1937
40 H. x 30 W. in.
Framed: 47 ½ x 37 ½ in.

Provenance:

  • Estate of the Artist
  • Barridoff Galleries
  • Private Collection
  • Sale/Christie’s, March 11, 1993
  • Private Collection, NY

Literature: Walt Kuhn Painter, His Life and Works, Phillip Rhys Adams, Ohio State University Press: Columbus, page 264, # 357; oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches, signed ll. Walt Kuhn 1937.  note: a fully developed watercolor, H. 17 1/2” W 10”, is titled “Horn of Plenty”.

Artist Description

An early promoter of modern art in America, a founding member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, and the organizing force behind the iconic Armory Show of 1913, Walt Kuhn was unique, standing apart from the mainstream of American art. At a time when art was becoming more abstract, Kuhn remained committed to representation. His portraits of circus and vaudeville entertainers are amongst his most memorable, including our Golden Horn from 1937. Our example is powerful and confidently painted. Reminiscent of the actor portraits executed by French artists centuries earlier, this work is solid, almost sculptural in its depiction and typical of Kuhn’s painting style of portraying single figures. A skilled painter of still lifes, Kuhn is best remembered for his portraits. Our young woman seems detached from what is going on around her. Placed against a mottled green background and holding a cornucopia while wearing a crown, this figure seems cheerless and out of place. Dignified and solemn in her expression, she stares intently out at the viewer, perhaps trying to connect on some symbolic or psychological level. Her face seems to hide the hardships of what she has endured and yet with the outsized golden horn of plenty tucked under her arm there is the promise of better days to come.

Biography

Exhibitions:

  • Salmagundi Club, NY, 1905
  • Boston Art Club, MA, 1908
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1908-12, 1921, 1945-49
  • Madison Gallery, 1911
  • Armory Show, NY, NY, 1913
  • Montross Gallery, 1914-15
  • Salons of America, 1923, 1924
  • Grand Central Galleries, NY, 1927
  • Beaux Arts Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1928
  • San Francisco Art Association, 1930
  • Marie Harriman Gallery, 1930-41
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, 1932-48
  • Durand-Ruel Galleries, 1943-45
  • Corcoran Gallery Biennials, 1945-49
  • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, CO, 1947
  • Cincinnati Art Museum, OH, 1960
  • Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX, 1964, 1978
  • Maynard Walker Gallery, NY, 1966
  • University of Arizona Art Gallery, Tucson, 1966
  • Kennedy Galleries, NY, NY, 1967-8, 1972, 1977, 1980
  • Barridoff Galleries, Portland, ME, 1984
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, NY, 1987
  • Salander O’Reilly Galleries Inc., NY, 1987
  • Maine University Art Museum, ME, 1989

Museums and Public Collections:

  • Addison Gallery of American Art, MA
  • Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX
  • Archives of American Art, Washington D.C.
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, IL
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art, ME
  • Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, IN
  • Brooklyn Museum, NY
  • Butler Institute of American Art, OH
  • Canton Museum of Art, OH
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
  • Currier Gallery of Art, NH
  • Delaware Art Museum
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Detroit Institute of Art
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA
  • Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma
  • Harvard University Museums, Cambridge, MA
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
  • Huntington Library, CA
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN
  • Joslyn Art Museum, NE
  • Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
  • Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, MI
  • Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Women’s College, VA
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
  • Museum of Modern Art, NY
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  • Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art, PA
  • The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.
  • San Diego Museum of Art, CA
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA
  • Sheldon Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
  • Southern Alleghenies Museum, PA
  • Springfield Museum of Art, OH
  • Terra Foundation for the Arts, Chicago, IL
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
  • University of Nebraska
  • Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA
  • Wichita Art Museum, KS
  • Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
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