Guillermo Kahlo in 1920
|Born||Carl Wilhelm Kahlo
26 October 1871
Pforzheim, Grand Duchy of Baden
|Died||14 April 1941(aged 69)|
Matilde Calderón y González
|Children||Margarita, Matilde, Adriana, Wilhelm, Magdalena (Frida), Cristina|
|Parent(s)||Jakob Heinrich Kahlo
Carl Wilhelm Kahlo (26 October 1871 – 14 April 1941), commonly known as Guillermo Kahlo, was a German-Mexican photographer. He photographically documented important architectural works, churches, streets, landmarks, as well as industries and companies in Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century; meaning that his work has not only artistic value but also historical and documental importance. He was the father of artist Frida Kahlo, who painted his portrait.
Kahlo was born in Pforzheim, Grand Duchy of Baden, German Empire (now in Baden-Württemberg, Germany), the son of jeweller Jakob Heinrich Kahlo and Henriette Kaufmann. Frida Kahlo maintained that he was of Hungarian Jewish descent. One recent book, Fridas Vater: Der Fotograf Guillermo Kahlo by Gaby Franger and Rainer Huhle, traced Kahlo's genealogy, and stated that "despite the legend propagated by Frida," Guillermo did not have Jewish Hungarian roots, but was born to Protestant parents and "came from families accommodated in Frankfurt and Pforzheim."
He married María Cardena in 1895. The night she died giving birth to their third child, he asked Antonio Calderón for his daughter Matilde’s hand in marriage. After the marriage, Kahlo sent his and Maria’s daughters away to be raised in a convent.
In 1901 he set up a photographic studio, working for El Mundo Ilustrado and Semanario Ilustrado. He was commissioned by the government to do architectural photographs, probably his best work. He also took photographs of churches with other photographers for a six-volume survey in the 1920s.
- Coronel Rivera, Juan. et al. Guillermo Kahlo fotógrafo 1872-1941. Vida y obra. CNCA / INBA. México 1993.
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