Kemnitz graduated from the University of Michigan in 1933, and became a prolific chronicler of the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan. His grandfather was pastor at the Bethlehem United Church of Christ, and his mother was born in Ann Arbor.
Serving in the merchant marine during World War II, Kemnitz participated in a federal program that supplied paints and paper and brief drawing lessons. He returned to Ann Arbor after the war, taking continuing art education classes at the University of Michigan and running a sign painting company, determined to make a living as an artist.
Kemnitz was one of the artists who participated in the first Ann Arbor Art Fair in 1960, and the 2001 Ann Arbor Art Fairs.&nb
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