1880 - 1968
Max Kuehne was a man of many interest and many talents. Born in Halle, Germany, he came to this country with his family in the 1890s. As a young man, he found work as an assistant in a dental laboratory, as a patent law clerk and as a printer's apprentice. In 1907, Kuehne began his formal art training, studying under William Merritt Chase and Kenneth Hayes Miller at the New York School of Art. The following year, he enrolled in the National Academy of Design.
Kuehne made his first visit to Cape Ann in 1912, painting around Gloucester' busy harbor front area. Works such as Gloucester Harbor, done during that first visit to this area, show Kuehne's keen interest in capturing spontaneous scenes of contemporary life in a style that is perhaps best described as a combination of Impressionism and Realism. In 1925, after traveling through Europe and exhibiting his works at galleries in New York, Paris and London, Kuehne took up summer residence in Rockport. He would return there every summer thereafter.
Although he is known primarily as a painter, over the years, Max Kuehne had a successful career as a wood carver, making picture frames, furniture, screens and sculptures. During the 1930s, he also created a series of etchings, learning the art from fellow Rockport artists Bill McNulty and Gifford and Reynolds Beal.