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Wilfred Kihn

 (1898 - 1957)
Wilfred Langdon Kihn was active/lived in Connecticut.  Wilfred Kihn is known for Indian portrait painting, magazine illustration.

Wilfred Kihn

Biography from the Archives of askART

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Wilfrid Kihn became a painter of North American Indian subjects, traveling widely for his subjects from his home in East Haddam, Connecticut.  His motive was that he feared the Indian cultures would vanish before records were made of them.  Of these depictions, he later said he "had painted 500 Indian pictures, visited 35 tribes, and covered the area from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Mexican border to the Arctic." (266) It is thought that his estimate of doing 500 Indian paintings was "an understatement".

He studied at the Art Students League in New York City with Homer Boss and Winold Reiss.  In 1920, he went to Montana and New Mexico with Reiss, and his one-man exhibitions began in Santa Fe in 1921.  He also traveled to the Northwest that year where he completed sixty portraits of Blackfeet Indians.

The Canadian Pacific sent him to the Northwest to paint Indians, and between 1935 and 1949, he devoted himself to painting as many North American Indians as he could, including Navajo, Hopi, and Papago in Arizona and Pueblos of New Mexico.  He also did Indian paintings on Vancouver Island.

He also painted a series on Indian subjects for National Geographic magazine, and illustrated numerous books on Indians.  In 1952, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City held an exhibition of sixty of his Indian portraits.  The next year, he became a partner with painter Guy Wiggins to for the Guy Wiggins-Landgon Kihn Art School in Essex, Connecticut.

Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West

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About  Wilfred Kihn

Born:  1898 - Brooklyn, New York
Died:   1957 - East Haddam, New York
Known for:  Indian portrait painting, magazine illustration