By Daniella Walsh | LB Indy
It’s been here since 1983, ensconced in the Hobbit shops center, a one-room gallery filled to bursting with paintings and a smattering of posters. In the midst of all, sits Manfred H. Kuhnert at his easel, surrounded by well-worn palettes, painting a lush blonde nude.
Meanwhile, his wife Anna takes care of business, and has done so ever since the couple opened their first Glendale art gallery in 1963.
But now, Kuhnert’s Art Gallery, a destination for collectors enamored of vibrant or pastel colored landscapes and figures, closes its doors this week.
“My health is not what it used to be,” said Kuhnert, who at 83 concedes the need to slow down. “I will not stop painting, but I don’t know what our next plans are,” he said. He and Anna, 77, live in Laguna Niguel.
Kuhnert paints in oil and watercolors, eschewing acrylic paints as too fast and not vibrant enough. “I like my paintings to be alive, to show impressions of my travels and what I see,” he explained.
“I remember when the lot across the street was nothing but dirt with a shack on it. We were hoping they’d build something interesting there. We got condominiums,” Anna recalled of the corner of Coast Highway and Calliope Street facing their gallery window.
Born in Dresden, Germany, a cultural landmark destroyed during WWII bombing, Kuhnert recalls being taught art by his mother who had been trained at the Dresden Academy of Fine Art, renowned before the conflagration. In 1954, he immigrated to the United States.
The couple raised two children, Manfred Flynn, a movie executive, and Tara, a television and film actress.
Meanwhile, their supply of paintings is dwindling, and the small gallery suddenly appears larger. Long time collectors from far and wide are buying up paintings and saying adieu.