Index of Historic Collectors and Dealers of Cubism
Kahnweiler, Daniel-Henry
Mannheim, 1884–Paris, 1979
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler was a banker, writer, publisher, and art dealer who became the pioneering champion of Cubism. He opened his first gallery in Paris at 28, rue Vignon in the spring of 1907. Kahnweiler primarily presented rotating selections of work by Georges Braque, André Derain, Pablo Picasso, Maurice de Vlaminck, and other artists, but he did mount a few exhibitions, including one for Kees van Dongen in March 1908 and a seminal show for Braque in November 1908. Kahnweiler signed his first exclusive contract with Derain in March 1908. He reached similar agreements with Braque (November 1912), Picasso (December 1912), Juan Gris (February 1913), and Fernand Léger (October 1913) that gave him right of first refusal for recent works from those artists’ studios. These contracts made Kahnweiler the sole supplier of Cubist art until fall of 1914. 

Kahnweiler’s clients included the French collector Roger Dutilleul, Czech art historian Vincenč Kramář, Russian collectors Ivan Morozov and Sergeï Shchukin, Swiss collector Hermann Rupf, American collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein, and German collector-dealer Wilhelm Uhde. Among the numerous dealers with whom Kahnweiler established close collaborative business relationships prior to World War I were Alfred Flechtheim, Alfred Stieglitz, and Heinrich and Justin K. Thannhauser. 

When World War I broke out in August 1914, the French government declared Kahnweiler, a German national, an enemy alien. He was vacationing in Italy at the time and could not return to Paris to prevent the sequestration of his property. The gallery’s stock was confiscated on December 12, 1914, and sold in four public auctions supervised in part by Léonce Rosenberg (first three sales) and held at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris between 1921 and 1923. Approximately 3,000 items were sold, including 1,219 works by Braque, Gris, Léger, and Picasso. 

While living in exile in Switzerland from late 1914 to early 1920, Kahnweiler devoted his time to writing about art. His critical essays appeared in Das Kunstblatt and Die Weissen Blätter, often under the pseudonym Daniel Henry. Chief among the books he published is The Rise of Cubism, an early key reference work for the study of Cubism. In subsequent years, Kahnweiler produced an early monograph on Gris (1929) as well as editions created by poets, writers, and artists and beautifully illustrated by Kahnweiler’s gallery painters. 

Kahnweiler returned to Paris in February 1920 and opened Galerie Simon, at 29, rue d’Astorg. It was named after his close friend and business partner André Cahen, who was also known as André Simon. The gallery remained open until 1941 when Kahnweiler’s stepdaughter Louise Leiris (née Godon) purchased it in an effort to save it from liquidation as a Jewish firm. Kahnweiler collaborated closely with Leiris at Galerie Louise Leiris until his death in 1979.

Contributed by Luise Mahler, January 2015
For more information, see:
Assouline, Pierre. An Artful Life: A Biography of D. H. Kahnweiler, 1884–1979, translated by Charles Ruas. New York: G. Weidenfeld, 1990. 

Kahnweiler, Daniel Henry. The Rise of Cubism. Translated by Henry Aronson. New York: Wittenborn, Schultz, 1949. (full original German ed. first published in 1920) 

Monod-Fontaine, Isabelle, et al. Donation Louise et Michel Leiris: Collection Kahnweiler ­Leiris. Exh. cat. Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1984.

Artwork from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection formerly owned by Kahnweiler:
Pedestal Table, Glasses, Cups, Mandolin
Pedestal Table, Glasses, Cups, Mandolin Pablo Picasso
Paris, spring 1911
The Smoker
The Smoker Fernand Léger
1914
Still Life: "2ᵉ étude"
Still Life: "2ᵉ étude" Georges Braque
Paris, early 1914
Drawing for "The Staircase"
Drawing for "The Staircase" Fernand Léger
1913
Study for "The Aviator"
Study for "The Aviator" Fernand Léger
1920
Trees at L'Estaque
Trees at L'Estaque Georges Braque
L'Estaque, summer 1908
Still Life with Dice
Still Life with Dice Georges Braque
Paris, summer 1911
Composition with Violin
Composition with Violin Pablo Picasso
Paris, 1912
Fruit Dish and Glass
Fruit Dish and Glass Georges Braque
Sorgues, autumn 1912
Still Life
Still Life Fernand Léger
1913
Houses under the Trees
Houses under the Trees Fernand Léger
1913
Flowers
Flowers Juan Gris
Paris, 1914
Book and Glass
Book and Glass Juan Gris
Paris, spring 1914
Woman in a Chemise in an Armchair
Woman in a Chemise in an Armchair Pablo Picasso
Paris, late 1913–early 1914
Violin and Sheet Music: "Petit Oiseau"
Violin and Sheet Music: "Petit Oiseau" Georges Braque
Paris, early 1913
Pears and Grapes on a Table
Pears and Grapes on a Table Juan Gris
Céret, autumn 1913
The Terrace at the Hôtel Mistral
The Terrace at the Hôtel Mistral Georges Braque
L'Estaque and Paris, autumn 1907
The Castle of La Roche-Guyon
The Castle of La Roche-Guyon Georges Braque
La Roche-Guyon, summer 1909
Mandolin and Fruit Dish
Mandolin and Fruit Dish Georges Braque
Paris, early 1909
Still Life with Clarinet (Bottle and Clarinet)
Still Life with Clarinet (Bottle and Clarinet) Georges Braque
Céret, summer–autumn 1911
Violin: "Mozart Kubelick"
Violin: "Mozart Kubelick" Georges Braque
Paris, spring 1912
Head of a Woman
Head of a Woman Georges Braque
Sorgues, autumn 1912
Bottle, Glasses, and Newspapers
Bottle, Glasses, and Newspapers Georges Braque
Paris, early 1913
Bottle, Glass, and Pipe (Violette de Parme)
Bottle, Glass, and Pipe (Violette de Parme) Georges Braque
Paris, early 1914
Bottle of Rum
Bottle of Rum Georges Braque
Paris, spring 1914
Bottle, Glass, and Newspaper
Bottle, Glass, and Newspaper Georges Braque
Paris, early 1914
Bottle of Rosé Wine
Bottle of Rosé Wine Juan Gris
Paris, 1914
The Man at the Café
The Man at the Café Juan Gris
Paris, 1914
The Bottle
The Bottle Juan Gris
Paris, 1914
The Oil Mill
The Oil Mill Pablo Picasso
Horta de Ebro (present-day Horta de Sant Joan), summer 1909
Chess
Chess Pablo Picasso
Paris, autumn 1911
The Fruit Dish
The Fruit Dish Pablo Picasso
Céret, spring 1912
The Scallop Shell: "Notre Avenir est dans l'Air"
The Scallop Shell: "Notre Avenir est dans l'Air" Pablo Picasso
Paris, spring 1912
Head of a Man
Head of a Man Pablo Picasso
Paris, 1912
Student with a Newspaper
Student with a Newspaper Pablo Picasso
Paris, late 1913–early 1914
The Absinthe Glass
The Absinthe Glass Pablo Picasso
Paris, spring 1914
Bottle of Bass and Glass
Bottle of Bass and Glass Pablo Picasso
Paris, spring 1914