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August Kaufhold

Dötlingen, GER
21.01. - 25.02.2024

August Kaufhold

This exhibition also consists exclusively of pictures from the archive of the Dötlingen Foundation, most of which have not yet been shown to the public.

For the first time, we are able to show a large number of photos of his paintings from the artist’s estate.

August Kaufhold (painter) (* 11 April 1884 in Bremen; † 6 June 1955 in Dötlingen) was a German painter. His grave in the Dötlingen cemetery is maintained by the Dötlingen Foundation.

Kaufhold was the son of an innkeeper couple. He began an apprenticeship with the industrial painter Otto Bollhagen (1861-1924) in Bremen at the age of 14. In addition to other work, he was also employed to paint churches, including Bremen Cathedral, the Cotton Exchange and the decorative colouring of Lloyd steamers.

He began his art training at the Dresden Art Academy in 1902. He graduated with the highest marks in his “artist’s year” and became a master student of the animal painter Heinrich von Zügel in 1905. His first summer trip to Dötlingen took place during his student years. Kaufhold was married twice. His first wife Marie (called Mariechen) died in 1943 and he married his wife Charlotte in the same year; they had a son.
Kaufhold had his first artist’s house built in the Goldbergen in 1908. A typical reform villa with a view of the Hunte. After two years, he sold the house. In 1912, he built the first Lopshof as a thatched house on Heideweg, below the Gierenberg (then called Petersberg), according to his own design. In 1925, his house burnt down together with a valuable library and valuable farmhouse furniture. Most of his works were also burnt.
The Lopshof, as he called it, was then rebuilt on the same site. In 1936, he moved into his fourth house at what is now Karkbäk 15.

In 1937, the “Lopshof” was sold to the Gauamt für Erzieher des Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Lehrerbundes. After 1945, the building was used for decades as a country school hostel for the Wilhelmshaven secondary schools. It has now been run as a restaurant/café by NORLE e.V. for more than 20 years. People with disabilities live in the annex.
In his art, August Kaufhold focussed on the varied landscape, painting the village, its streets, its farms and, time and again, sheep and cows. They appear in his pictures like individuals, like proud inhabitants of the Dötlingen landscape. The high-contrast “gimmicks” with light and dark and light and shadow make the animals appear to step out of the picture frame under favourable lighting. He was a great animal lover. That is why he always made his four-legged friends look correct and favourable in his pictures.
August Kaufhold became successful. In good times, he painted 60 to 80 pictures a year, which he often sold directly from the easel. His customers came in and out of his studio. His oil paintings can still be found in many living rooms in Dötlingen today.