Museum Maker's Blog

Theodor Kern: Out of the stores

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

In 1969, the museum acquired the studio works of Austrian born artist Theodor Kern. He had developed a good relationship with Luton Museum’s then curator Peter Smith, prompting him to bequeath his studio works to the museum upon his death, in which over 70 paintings, drawings and stained glass works by Kern were added to collection.

Austrian born artist Theodor Kern (1900 – 1969) started his painting career in the early 1920s. Having completed his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, he painted several murals and church frescos in Salzburg. Kern was a skilled artist, notable in a number of different styles.

Kern travelled extensively across Europe painting and holding exhibitions, developing his craft as an artist. Kern’s travels influenced his work, using many of the places he visited as subjects.

In the build up to the Second World War and the German occupation of Austria, Kern left and moved to England. He settled eventually in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and taught as a lecturer at the Luton School of Art.

To celebrate the diversity of Kern’s work, we will be curating new displays focusing on particular art styles. In May, the corridor artwork will showcase Kern’s landscape work.

Landscape is one of the principal genres of subject in Western art, depicting natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, and rivers. Landscape views in art may be entirely imaginary, or copied from reality with varying degrees of accuracy. The earliest examples of landscape painting include ancient Roman murals. By the 1600s the subject expanded, no longer confined to the background but a dominate form and appreciated for its own sake. Kern’s works draws on the places he visited across Europe. 

Theodor Kern: Landscapes
A selection of Kern landscapes will be on display in the corridor at Wardown House, Museum and Gallery from 6th May 2019.


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