Heinrich Kühn was born on February 25th 1866 in Dresden (Germany).
Heinrich Kühn is an Austrian photographer who was one of the masters of pictorialism, a movement that attempts to make photography an accepted form of art. From a young age, he inherited a great fortune, which led him to stop studying medicine in order to devote himself to photography. He joined the Vienna Camera Club where he met Hugo Henneberg and Hans Watzek with whom he founded the "Trifolium" in 1895. The latter two were already a part of the movement that wanted to recognize photography as an artistic medium. Kühn then got closer to avant-garde associations such as the "Photo-Club" in Paris and the "Linked Ring" in London. Members of the Trifolium also took part in the Vienna Secession and exhibited their photographs, which were intertwined with the decorative paintins of artists such as Gustav Klimt and Otto Eckmann. These links between Kühn and the Vienna Secession are reflected in his photography which reproduces an atmosphere and a feeling more than it captures a precise image. The photographer focuses on cultivating the blur using various methods such as gum dichromate printing, the game on lenses or the use of textured papers. As a contemporary of Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, he is enthusiastically experimenting with all these new photographic printing techniques. Very quickly, Kühn's career stagnates because he refuses to photograph "non-artistic" subjects and to make "photobolchevism". After the First World War, he retreated to a remote village where he ended his life after joining the Nazi party.
Heinrich Kühn died on September 14th 1944 in Birgitz (Austria).