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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Hans Kaden

Dates:  1890 (ca) - 1961, 20 November
Born:  Germany
Died:  US, NJ, Paramus

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Hans Kaden
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Kaden exhibited his pictorial photographs from the late 1930s to the late 1940s. He then wrote articles for a few years for photographic monthlies. He apparently made his living teaching photography in the New York area.
Hans Kaden was born around 1890 in Germany and received his first camera when he was fourteen. After coming to the United States, he began teaching and by the mid-1940s was on the staff of the School of Modern Photography in New York. In 1947, he moved from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, to Dumont, New Jersey, where he opened a school and studio in his home. The same year, he received fellowship status from both the Photographic Society of America (FPSA) and the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS).
Kaden began salon exhibiting in 1938, and for the next ten years saw his work accepted by many juries, both here and abroad. The 1942-43 season was his most prolific, with 105 prints shown in more than thirty salons. He was honored with a one-man show in 1944 at the Smithsonian Institution, which retained some of his pictures for its permanent collection.
The American Annual of Photography reproduced his work between 1942 and 1946 (except 1944), as didPopular Photography in 1943 and 1943. And his images appeared on the covers of Camera (November 1944) and thePSA Journal (March 1942 and April 1947).
Kaden, who always lived near the Atlantic Ocean, photographed primarily seascapes. He considered the water, beaches, boats, and reflections of the sea a pictorialistís paradise, writing an article on the subject for the June 1955 issue of thePSA Journal. His full-toned image Path of Light, for instance, shows a large expanse of glistening sand under a hazy sky and rising sun, combining accessible pictorial beauty with a strong undercurrent of deep subjectivity.
Kaden was elected to salon memberships at Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Wilmington, and he served as chairman in 1941 of the Philadelphia salon. He occasionally spoke to camera clubs in the Northeast and judged salons as late as 1957, when he was on the jury in Newark.
Kaden wrote for photographic magazines for a short time in the early 1950s, after he stopped exhibiting his pictures. In addition to thePSA Journal, he published articles in American Photography, the countryís leading monthly. He became a contributing editor for the magazine in February 1952 and wrote regularly for its last year and a half. Among the topics he covered were lighting, pattern, human interest, and skies, sometimes illustrated with "before" and "after" images. Hans Kaden died on November 20, 1961, in a hospital in Paramus, New Jersey. 
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 1 June 2013. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
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