Edmund Daniel Kinzinger was born in 1888, in Pforzheim, Germany to a minor aristocratic family. The youngest son in a family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters, he gave up the opportunity to enter the prosperous family business to study Art. He received the usual schooling and left home in 1906 to study at the University of Munich and the State Academy of Art in Munich. He also attended the Academy of Art in Stuttgart where he studied first under Christian Landsberger, then under Adolf Holzel. Together with other Holzel students like Oskar Schlemmer and Willi Baumeister he founded in 1919 the Uecht group. During this time, he married Amelia Fuchs [mother of his only son Siegfried Maria Kinzinger; a German schooled research chemist/ my father]. He studied and worked with a group of extreme modern artists, and his work was pure abstraction (German Modern Art Group) including cubism, futurism and surrealism. From 1912-1913 he studied at the Modern Academy in Paris, where much of his work became more impressionistic. While in Paris he studied under Leger and Matisse, but his studies were cut short by the arrival of World War.
From 1914-1919 he fought in World War I, entering as a private and leaving as a 1st Lieutenant in the Artillery. His dog accompanied him, and proved to be an able member of the forces, his acute hearing alerting his master and comrades to incoming artillery. Kinzinger rose quickly through the ranks and eventually commanded an artillery unit.
As many did, he suffered from the ravages of war. Severely shell shocked, wounded twice, but decorated for bravery, he returned to Stuttgart and continued to paint, and began working in abstraction and cubism again, earning his living as a portrait painter. During this time he studied as a master student of Henrich Waldschmidt, again at the Staatliche Akademie Stuttgart. Edmund began to collect art during this time period, as money was in short supply in post WWI Germany. He often traded portraits for furniture and art.
In 1922, Amelia died in a bizarre accident. While attending a masquerade party, she was killed by a gunshot. Another party attendee dressed as an American cowboy shot off his guns; the guns were loaded and one bullet ricocheted off a chandelier and killed Amelia instantly. To support his son, Kinzinger spent the next three years traveling and painting in Italy, Spain and France. Sometime during this period he also studied with Pablo Picasso.
1927 brought a new life. Kinzinger met Alice Fish, an American who was studying in Europe. They married and went to America for a year. His style swung back towards naturalism; he spent the year working at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. But Europe-despite the economy and the political tensions -beckoned. They returned to Munich in 1928.
He rejoined the German Modern Art Group, artists who defined contemporary European art. For the next 6 years, his academic career continued-as Director of the Schule fur Bildende Kunst, Hans Hoffman, Munich, as well as Director of the Ecole de l’Epoque, Paris, France. He had one man exhibitions at Bloomsbury Galleries, London, England (1933); Gallerie Pierre, Paris, France (1934); Roullier Gallery, Chicago Illinois (1935) while teaching and painting. In 1933, Adolph Hitler “abolished “ Modern Art as decadent, so as an outcast in his own country, he looked elsewhere for work. Alice had already departed for home with their young daughter, and heavily encouraged Edmund to leave his peers and the suppressive atmosphere of Europe to come to America. After months of planning and scheming, as well as a great deal of sorrow, Kinzinger left Germany forever, traveling through France to sail to the United States with his now 25 year old son in the year 1934.
In 1935 he founded and eventually became chairman of the art Department at Baylor University, Waco Texas. Leaving behind a repressive, unsettled and dark Germany was, in some aspects, not difficult for Kinzinger. The USA represented new horizons and possibilities. Baylor, however, was a deeply conservative, religious institution. So once again he began to reconstruct his life, with his subject matter following suit.
In the years 1939-1942, Kinzinger attended summer school sessions at the University of Iowa, earning the first doctorate in Fine Arts from the school. His dissertation consisted of a series of paintings based on his travels in Old Mexico. In 1944, Kinzinger began painting summers in Taos. Many of his subjects were poor peasants and natives of the area. His affinity for his subject matter is great, and his own depression grows. By 1949, he is divorced. His daughter, Delia, has married and moved to India upon graduation from college. Alice stays in New Mexico, but eventually she also retreats to India to be with her daughter and her growing family. Kinzinger involuntarily withdraws as chairman of the art department.
Dr. Kinzinger spent his last 15 years living with his son, in Delavan, Wisconsin and Tarboro, North Carolina all the while being treated for his mental illness. He would work occasionally during these years, but only with a great deal of encouragement and support. He spent his time reading and studying, walking and interacting with his family and their friends. He died of a stroke in the spring of 1963.