Louis Kindt (1832 - 1923)

Birth date: 1832 Death date: 1923  
Birth location: Death location:  
Media: Painting Web site:
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Louis Kindt

Born January 1, 1832 in Baden, Germany

Died November 3, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois

Louis Kindt immigrated to United States in 1853 from Prussia and is known for painting panoramas, frescos and scenic images.

Arriving in Milwaukee in 1869, Kindt painted scenery for the German Municipal Theater in Kenosha, WI.  From 1872-1878 he was in Chicago promoting and performing in productions at the Vorwärts Turnhalle German Theater. He then spent the next few years as a fresco painter in Belleville, Illinois.  In 1882 Kindt married Anna Isselhardt (1855- 1900) and they had six children.  Later that same year, Kindt spent a few weeks in Vicksburg, Mississippi sketching and making technical notes on the Civil War battlefield site.

Louis Kindt and Thomas Gardner produced the first of the Milwaukee panorama paintings, Battle of Lookout Mountain (also known as Battle in the Clouds) and exhibited it in the 1884 Milwaukee Exposition.  That same year he collaborated with others and incorporated the Northwestern Panorama Company.  In 1885, Gen’l Grant’s Assault on Vicksburg was painted in Milwaukee in the Schlitz Park Theater which was converted into a mammoth studio that measured 40 ft. x 386 ft. The painting was then moved permanently to the sixteen-cornered structure at 6th and Cedar Streets in Milwaukee. This measured 125 feet in diameter and 175 feet from the ground to the top of the rotunda. This building had an underground tunnel entrance that emerged onto a large observation platform in the center with standing room for 150 people. A Milwaukee Sentinel article dated 5/23/1889 documents that, Gen’l Grant’s Assault of Vicksburg, which had a total cost for painting and development of $8,000 was bought by the Milwaukee Panorama Company for $1,000.00 and destroyed. The building on 6th and Cedar was also sold that year. In 1889 the Battle of Gettysburg was exhibited in the building and by 1896 it was being used for agricultural equipment storage and Baptist church services until it was destroyed by fire in September.

On October 14th, 1896 Kindt was naturalized as a US citizen and in 1903 entered a second marriage to Barbara Becker. Kenosha city directories listed Louis Kindt as a resident from 1885 – 1923 when he died at the age of ninety-one while in Chicago.

1884    Milwaukee Exposition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

© 11/27/2006 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                              6/2/2010

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