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Daniel H. Kahnweiler

German, 1884 - 1979

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Born in Mannheim, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler began his career as a banker in Karlsruhe. At age eighteen he left Germany for Paris, where he studied art by visiting salons, galleries and museums while working as a stockbroker. A relative in London provided the funds for Kahnweiler to open his own gallery on the rue Vignon in 1907. That same year he visited Picasso's studio where he saw the Demoiselles d'Avignon, prompting his support of cubism and its masters. In the years before World War I, Kahnweiler established relationships with Picasso, Derain, Braque, Vlaminck and Léger and built up a significant stock of their pictures. In 1914 he moved the gallery to the rue d'Astorg, but as a German national he was soon forced into exile in Switzerland during the war. His stock and gallery were impounded by the French state as enemy property. Between 1921-1923 this stock was sold by the government (four sales were held in Paris: 13 June 1921; 17 November 1921; 4 July 1922; 7 May 1923). Forced to begin again from scratch, Kahnweiler's new venture was in partnership with André Simon. Kahnweiler renewed his contracts with his pre-war artists, with the exception of Picasso who had moved to Paul Rosenberg during the war and remained with his new dealer. During the Second World War Kahnweiler was again forced to flee Paris, as he was Jewish, but in 1942 was able to turn his gallery over to his Catholic stepdaughter, Louise Leiris (née Godon), in whose name it continued to operate. Kahnweiler returned to France after the war, and in 1947 the gallery moved to the rue de Monceau where it continues to operate today. Kahnweiler died in 1979.

Artist Bibliography

Cogniat, Raymond. "Portraits de marchands: Henri Kahnweiler et les débuts de cubisme." Beaux-Arts 72, n.s. 32 (August 11, 1933):5
Watt, Alexander. "Art Dealers of Paris II: Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler." The Studio 156 (July 1958):6-13
Kahnweiler, Daniel H. Mes Galeries et mes peintres. Paris, 1961.
Sardi, Marie-Andrée de. "Kahnweiler, le marchand des cubistes." Jardin des Arts 96 (November 1962):20-31
Spies, Werner, ed. Pour Kahnweiler. London, 1966.
Assouline, Pierre. L'homme de l'art: D.H. Kahnweiler 1884-1979. Paris, 1988.
Turner, Jane, ed. The Dictionary of Art. 34 vols. New York and London, 1996: 17:725-726.

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