Information

Oil on canvas, depicting a race during the 1937 America’s Cup between the American Defender “Ranger” and the British Challenger “Endeavour II.” The painting is signed lower right in red “Kuehne.” The painting is very stylized and has a 1930s American Modernist feeling. It is the only painting we are familiar with of the period which depicts the 1937, 16th defense of the America’s Cup.  A small study of this painting (24 x 20”) is published on page 216 in the book written by Alan Granby and Janice Hyland titled “THE HOLY GRAIL of Yachting: THE ART OF THE AMERICA’S CUP 1930-1937.” This book which features the J-Boat era is Volume V from a set of nine volumes on the history of the America’s Cup 1851-2013.      (PA0889)                                                                                                                       Condition: Refer to condition report by Yost Restoration.
Dimensions of Painting: Height 36, Width 30, Inches
Dimensions of Frame: Height 42, Width 37, Inches
Provenance: In downtown Rockport MA on the waterfront was a restaurant named the "Blacksmith Shop" which was owned by the Smith family. The restraunt had a wonderful view and the water side was held up with pilings. The restraunt had a very Bohemian feel and it was a popular hangout for the Rockport artists who often traded paintings in exchange for food tabs. This was the case with Max Kuehne who traded the J boats painting described above as well as a similar but smaller version. After the Smith's died each of their 2 son's inherited the collection of Rockport artist paintings that were traded with the artists. Each of the two son's received one of the J-boat paintings by Kuehne. The Smith's sold the restraunt when they got old and it has had many owners since and is still open for business.
Accompanying the painting is a copy of a Magazine titled on the front cover "SOUVENIR PROGRAM - SIXTEENTH DEFENSE - INTERNATIONAL YACHT RACE SUMMER 1937".
The image on the cover depicts the race between Ranger and Endeavour in the 1937 America's Cup. The title page in the magazine which appears on page 27 states below the title "Cover by Max Kuehne - Courtesy Sporting Gallery and Bookshop."  The painting on the cover is the very painting described above which is signed Max Kuehne. (BK-775)
Condition: slight roughness in corners and spine. Interior excellent.
Height 13, Width 10, Inches

 

Provenance: In downtown Rockport MA on the waterfront was a restaurant named the "Blacksmith Shop" which was owned by the Smith family. The restraunt had a wonderful view and the water side was held up with pilings. The restraunt had a very Bohemian feel and it was a popular hangout for the Rockport artists who often traded paintings in exchange for food tabs. This was the case with Max Kuehne who traded the J boats painting described above as well as a similar but smaller version. After the Smith's died each of their 2 son's inherited the collection of Rockport artist paintings that were traded with the artists. Each of the two son's received one of the J-boat paintings by Kuehne. The Smith's sold the restraunt when they got old and it has had many owners since and is still open for business.
Accompanying the painting is a copy of a Magazine titled on the front cover "SOUVENIR PROGRAM - SIXTEENTH DEFENSE - INTERNATIONAL YACHT RACE SUMMER 1937".
The image on the cover depicts the race between Ranger and Endeavour in the 1937 America's Cup. The title page in the magazine which appears on page 27 states below the title "Cover by Max Kuehne - Courtesy Sporting Gallery and Bookshop."  The painting on the cover is the very painting described above which is signed Max Kuehne. (BK-775)
Condition: slight roughness in corners and spine. Interior excellent.
Height 13, Width 10, Inches
Biography: Max Kuehne was born in Halle, Germany on November 7, 1880. During his adolescence, the family immigrated to America and settled in Flushing, New York. As a young man, Max was active in rowing events, bicycle racing, swimming and sailing. After experimenting with various occupations, Kuehne decided to study art, which led him to William Merritt Chase’s famous school in New York; he was trained by Chase himself, then by Kenneth Hayes Miller. Chase was at the peak of his career, and his portraits were especially in demand. Kuehne would have profited from Chase’s invaluable lessons in technique, as well as his inspirational personality. Miller, only four years older than Kuehne, was another of the many artists to benefit from Chase’s teachings. Even though Miller still would have been under the spell of Chase upon Kuehne’s arrival, he was already experimenting with an aestheticism that went beyond Chase’s realism and virtuosity of the brush. Later Miller developed a style dependent upon volumetric figures that recall Italian Renaissance prototypes.
     Kuehne moved from Miller to Robert Henri in 1909. Rockwell Kent, who also studied under Chase, Miller, and Henri, expressed what he felt were their respective contributions: “As Chase had taught us to use our eyes, and Henri to enlist our hearts, Miller called on us to use our heads.” (Rockwell Kent, It’s Me O Lord: The Autobiography of Rockwell Kent. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1955, p. 83). Henri prompted Kuehne to search out the unvarnished realities of urban living; a notable portion of Henri’s stylistic formula was incorporated into his work.
     Having received such a thorough foundation in art, Kuehne spent a year in Europe’s major art museums to study techniques of the old masters. His son Richard named Ernest Lawson as one of Max Kuehne’s European traveling companions. In 1911 Kuehne moved to New York where he maintained a studio and painted everyday scenes around him, using the rather Manet-like, dark palette of Henri. After another brief trip to Spain in 1920, Kuehne went to the other Rockport (Cape Ann, Massachusetts) where he was accepted as a member of the vigorous art colony, spearheaded by Aldro T. Hibbard. Rockport’s picturesque ambiance fulfilled the needs of an artist-sailor: as a writer in the Gloucester Daily Times explained, “Max Kuehne came to Rockport to paint, but he stayed to sail.” . He loved sailing and he was active in racing "Star Boats" in Rockport harbor. The 1920s was a boom decade for Cape Ann, as it was for the rest of the nation. Kuehne’s studio in Rockport was formerly occupied by Jonas Lie.
    Kuehne spent the summer of 1923 in Paris, where in July, André Breton started a brawl as the curtain went up on a play by his rival Tristan Tzara; the event signified the demise of the Dada movement. Kuehne could not relate to this avant-garde art but was apparently influenced by more traditional painters — the Fauves, Nabis, and painters such as Bonnard. Gallatin perceived a looser handling and more brilliant color in the pictures Kuehne brought back to the States in the fall. In 1926, Kuehne won the First Honorable Mention at the Carnegie Institute, and he re-exhibited there, for example, in 1937 (Before the Wind). Besides painting, Kuehne did sculpture, decorative screens, and furniture work with carved and gilded molding. In addition, he designed and carved his own frames, and John Taylor Adams encouraged Kuehne to execute etchings. Through his talents in all these media he was able to survive the Depression, and during the 1940s and 1950s these activities almost eclipsed his easel painting. In later years, Kuehne’s landscapes and still-life’s show the influence of Cézanne and Bonnard, and his style changed radically.
Max Kuehne died in 1968. He exhibited his work at the National Academy of Design, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, and in various New York City galleries.