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 Bob F. Kuhn  (1920 - 2007)

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About: Bob F. Kuhn
 

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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: wildlife painting, magazine illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Selected wildlife painter of the year in 1998 by the Friends of Western Art in Tucson, Arizona, Robert Kuhn was born in Buffalo, New York in 1920, and was educated at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.  He was an illustrator for most of the top outdoor magazines during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and moved on to gallery work in 1970.

A Wildlife Art article, September 2001, labelled Kuhn as "one of the last direct descendants from the Golden Age of Illustration...(a period) that produced the most competent legion of realist painters this continent has ever known."

In 2001, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming held an unprecedented retrospective spanning Kuhn's 60-year career.

Kuhn has made numerous expeditions to Africa, Alaska, and throughout Canada and the American West.

He credits Paul Bransom as a major influence because of Bransom's insistence on good, accurate drawing.

Source:
www.kuhnsnhuk.com/bio.html---website of the artist


Biography from Jackson Hole Art Auction:
Bob Kuhn, b. 1920-2007, Buffalo, New York, (United States)

Bob Kuhn is a name synonymous with wildlife art and excellence for over 50 years. He was born in Buffalo, New York and educated at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York, where he studied design, anatomy, and life-drawing. For the next 30 years, he was one of the most popular wildlife illustrators in America before turning to easel painting full time in 1970. Kuhn traveled around the world to obtain inspiration, with many of his wildlife expeditions lasting eight weeks. He made countless trips to Africa, six trips to Alaska, numerous journeys into Canada East and West and numerous trips to the American West.

Kuhn's first love was perhaps African wildlife art, but in later years he concentrated on North American wildlife. Kuhn often painted simple backgrounds with horizontal bands of color and light. He worked primarily in acrylic and was well known for his ability to paint the particular movements and personalities of wild animals. Kuhn was a member of the Society of Animal Artists in New York and his works are featured in permanent museum collections including, The John L. Wehle Gallery of Sporting Art at the Genesee Country Museum in Mumford, NY, The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY, and The National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK.

“Bob Kuhn’s animals are strong, vital, self-assured, at that razor-sharp pitch of perfection that allows them to survive in the wild. Always, they are in peak physical condition: alert, well-muscled, glossy-coated, supple-skinned. They are the cream of the race, the lords and ladies” (Tom Davis, The Art of Bob Kuhn, Briar Patch Press, Camden, SC, 1989, p.125-126)

Education
• Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn, New York
Selected Exhibitions
• National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, The Wildlife Art of Bob Kuhn, Tulsa, OK, 2006
• National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Tulsa, OK, 2005, 2006
• National Museum of Wildlife Art, Retrospective Exhibition, Jackson Hole, WY, 2001
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West
• National Academy of Western Art
• Cowboy Hall of Fame, Wildlife Art Show

Selected Press
• Wildlife Art, Unseen Paintings by Bob Kuhn, November, 2006
• Southwest Art, The Legend of the Troubadour, October, 2006
• Art of the West, Cowboy Museum Honors Kuhn, July, 2006
• Wildlife Art, On the Trail of Bob Kuhn, January, 2004
• Wildlife Art, September, 2001
• Profiles in American Art, 1982

Selected Publications
• Patrons Without Peer: The McCloy Collection, Tom Davis, Forward by Bob Kuhn,2009
• Adam Duncan Harris, Wildlife in American Art: Masterworks for the National Museum of Wildlife Art,
• Wild Harvest: The Animal Art of Bob Kuhn, Bob Kuhn, 2004
• Contemporary Western Artists, Peggy & Harold Samuels, Washington, D.C., 1982
• The Art of Bob Kuhn, Tom Davis, Briar Patch Press, Camden, SC, 1989

Selected Awards
• National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Lifetime Achievement Award, Tulsa, OK, 2006
• National Museum of Wildlife Art, Rungius Medal, Jackson Hole, WY, 1992
• National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West Purchase Award-“The Lair of the Cat”, Tulsa, OK, 1991
• Friends of Western Art, Wildlife Painter of the Year, Tucson, AZ, 1988
• National Academy of Western Art

Selected Collections
• Genesee Country Museum, John L. Wehle Gallery of Sporting Art, Mumford, NY
• National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, WY
• National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, OK
Affiliations
• Society of Animal Artists, New York
• Society of Illustrators
• Artists of America
• Tucson Seven

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, III:
A Realist-Impressionist painter of animals in acrylic on masonite, Bob Kuhn was born in Buffalo, New York in 1920 and lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.  “If you are only painting the outside of the animal, you may come up with an attractive result, but it doesn’t say anything about that animal.  If you love the animal, you want to know about it. Then you want to tell everybody else what you found out—and your means of telling it is painting.

Studied: Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

Books and prints: The Animal Art of Bob Kuhn. Several limited edition prints.

Prizes: 2nd and 1st prizes, oil, National Academy of Western Art. 1st prize, Wildlife Art Show.

Expeditions: Numerous trips to Africa, Alaska, Canada.

Membership: Society of Animal Artists.

In Profiles in American Art in 1982, Kuhn as “The Man Who Paints Animals” says, “I don’t know why I paint animals.  All I know is when I was a very little boy, there was something about animals that grabbed hold of me.  To me, the fun of painting animals is to be the stage manager, the arranger, the fellow who selects out the stuff that doesn’t abet the subject and the mood, and to bring in the things that would enhance the mood. Having the temerity or courage, having figured things out, to bend them or change them when the painting calls for it, is the final test of whether you’re functioning as a naturalist or a painter.”


Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

Biography from The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction:
Bob Kuhn is one of the leading painters of animals shown in dramatic action.  This ability to arrest the animals in motion sets him apart from the other contemporary painters of North American and African wildlife.

He was born in Buffalo, New York in 1920.  He has been intrigued since boyhood by the animal kingdom.  His earliest contacts with large mammals were made at the Buffalo Zoo.  After completing public high school in Buffalo, Kuhn studied commercial art for three years at the Pratt Institute.  He worked steadily as an illustrator from 1940 to 1970, taking only a year and a half off to serve as a merchant seaman in World War II.

Kuhn was an illustrator for such outdoor magazines as Field and Stream, True and Outdoor Life.  He also designed illustrations for books and advertisements.  In 1964, he started painting for the Remington Arms Company Game Art Calendar.

In 1970, he resigned from all of his commercial accounts in order to devote himself exclusively to easel painting of wildlife.  Since then he has won awards and medals at such distinguished shows as the National Academy of Western Art and The Cowboy Hall of Fame Wildlife Art Show.

Kuhn was influenced by Paul Bransom, who was known as the "dean of animal artists", and in turn, has assisted many younger wildlife artists in their careers.  He has studied animals on location all over North America and Africa.  Bob and his wife, Libby, now reside in Tucson, Arizona.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


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