Thomas Cool 1851-1904 & two younger German sculptors

The key questions on this page are:

1) Who made the statue of Dien ?
2) Who was this Kuhn that Wagenvoort speaks about ?
3) Was Paul Peterich at the Villa in 1893 - when TC1851 gave him 2 paintings ?

TC1851 had done some sculpting himself and, though he had decided early in life to become a painter, it may not be surprising that sculptors became his best friends in the Villa. Curt Stöving though made a portrait of him around 1895 and they made a trip to Strasbourg and Basel in 1897.

TC1851 was in Villa Strohl-Fern in 1892-1896, with his wife Berber and three children Dien (1884), Tine (1887) and Gerrit (1889). We have some of his notes, and Tine wrote the book "Wij met ons vijven in Rome" ("The five of us in Rome") that got a first prize in 1928. An eulogy on him was written by Wagenvoort in 1909 and 1930.

Data are the article by F. Zacher, these hard data from Harders, Thieme-Becker, and the Historisches Archiv der Akademie der Künste AdK, and the University archives UdK, and this: In "The Documented image: visions in art history" by Gabriel P. Weisberg et al., Syracuse University Press 1987, Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu on page 141 mentions "Wilhelm Kumm (b. 1861)" as a visitor in 1897 of the Frans Hals Museum, in the company of "Paul Peterich (b. 1864)". 

Emil Fuchs is mentioned by Zacher & AdK in Villa Strohl-Fern, and indeed in his own book. He is not mentioned by TC1851 or Wagenvoort, unless Wagenvoort confuses Fuchs with "Kuhn" (around 1894). In Tine's book he would be the beefsteak German (though from Vienna) and then he cannot be one of the two German sculptors.

Curt Stöving is mentioned by Zacher too,  made a painting of TC1851, made a trip with him in 1897 to Strasbourg and Basel. 

TC1851, Tine and Wagenvoort each mention two sculptors but use different names. 

  • Tine mentions only events, no names, with two German sculptors and a third beefsteak German.. 
  • TC1851 mentions Stöving and sculptors Kumm from Hamburg and "P. Petrich" from Berlin. 
  • Wagenvoort however mentions sculptors Kümm and Kuhn, supposedly both from Hamburg; but it might also be Kumm from Hamburg and Kühn from elsewhere, or misunderstood "Fuchs" or "Curt".
We require some detective work to find out whether it are two or three sculptors, who they are and what they did. This page reports on what we can find.

(1) TC1851's notes

TC1851's notes mention two German sculptors, Wilhelm Kumm (1861- 1939+?) (also spelled Kümm) from Hamburg and "P. Petrich, sculptor from Berlin", who we analyze to be Paul Peterich (1864-1937). There is no mention of Ku(e)hn.

TC1851 gave 2 paintings to this "P. Petrich" in 1893 and 1 in 1901. 

TC1851 gave 2 paintings to Kumm in 1901 and 1902.

TC1851 also has a note "1897 Reis met Kumm en [hard to read] naar Londen" - a trip to London with Kumm and [hard to read]. TC1921 chances at "Go [?]" that might be "G." and then be daughter Gerardina (Dien). It may also be "C." if it is Curt Stöving, whom he makes a trip with to Strasbourg and Basel in that same year. However is may also be "P." as we know that Peterich is with Kumm in that year (and he tours Europe). It is not reasonable to take a 13-year old daughter on such a trip when there are these alternatives. 

Thus it is likely that "Petrich" is actually Paul Peterich.

Thus Kumm and Peterich visited the Frans Hals Museum, then TC1851, and then the three proceeded on to London (or in any order). 

Indeed, in the RKD database we find that Paul Peterich worked in Rome in 1890. The Berlin Academy rented ateliers in Villa Strohl-Fern at that time, but possibly not enough, and we have no direct confirmation that Peterich in fact was in that Villa. And we are interested in the period 1892-1896. RKD does not give more on the web, neither in the library. Here: "1890 übernahm Peterich das Atelier von Joseph Kaffsack in Berlin. 1890 reiste er erstmals nach Italien. Darauf folgten (in den 1890er Jahren) mehrere Denkmalprojekte sowie Reisen innerhalb Europas." There is some scope, especially if he did not mind having an atelier in Berlin and one in Rome.

Alternatively, Kumm and Peterich have a separate reason to visit the Frans Hals Museum, and TC1851 travels with Kumm and Stöving. But then we still need to explain the giving of the paintings in 1893.

(2) Wagenvoort

Paul Peterich (1864-1937) married Elsbeth Kühn (1876-1935), see this wiki about their son Eckart.

So possibly Elsbeth had a brother who was that sculptor Kuhn that Wagenvoort speaks about ?

(3) Tine's book

(3a) Busts
In Tine's book two German sculptors also staying in Villa Strohl-Fern make busts of Dien and Tine. This must be around 1893 / 1894. 

The best hypothesis that TC1851's gift of the paintings to "Petrich" was in gratitude for the busts. Since there is no record that Kumm got a painting at that time, he may have been thanked in kind or money. Possibly first the paintings were given and then the busts were made in gratitude - but this is a bit unlikely.

See Tine's book p118-119 and the photograph there - unknown when the picture was taken.

To the left is Tine (youngest, born 1887) and to the right is Dien (eldest, born 1884). It is not known where these busts are. Dien died in 1911 and Tine died in 1944 in a hospital in Deventer while she lived in Bussum. It is not known what happened to her inheritance in that World War II period.

Who made the bust on the right ? Given that TC1851 gave "Petrich" 2 paintings in 1893, it is likely that this was Peterich.

The book says: "Geen oogenblik was de vraag gedaan wie van de twee vrienden de buste van de oudste zou maken en wie die van de jongste." - "It was never asked who of the two friends would sculpt the eldest and who the youngest girl." Hence we do not know for sure who made which. (TC1921 (1999) attributes both busts to Kumm but given the quote that must be wrong.)

However, there exists another bust, currently in possession of my niece also named Tine, which bust has "Tinchen" up front, and is labelled in the back with "W. Kvmm 1898 Mod. 94". Apparently Kumm started the original statue as a clay model in 1894 and used this to make a new bust, possibly inspired after the visit in 1897. The paintings in 1901 and 1902 may be in expression of gratitude for this new bust. Given that he made this new bust, it is rather clear that Kumm also made the bust of Tine in 1893 on the left.

Wagenvoorts "Kuhn" remains a mystery figure. Perhaps he actually made the bust on the right, and perhaps Peterich was never in Villa Strohl-Fern, but then we need to explain the giving of 2 paintings to "P. Petrich, sculptor from Berlin" and the visit of Kumm and Peterich to the Frans Hals Museum in 1897 and the trip of TC1851 with Kumm and possibly P. [?] (or C. ?) in another way ... Possibly Kuhn indeed lived in the Villa, Peterich only came for a visit, got the paintings and left again. The archives from Villa Strohl-Fern (apparently destroyed) or Peterich may help out.

(3b) Other data
Tine on two younger German sculptors page 61-63, about around 1892/93: 
"The new friends who my parents liked a lot were the two young German sculptors who lived in one of the ateliers of the German Akademy, there behind the path with the cypresses. [one of who is Wilhelm Kumm (b 1861), the other likely Paul Peterich (b 1864) though perhaps some Kuhn or Kuehn] The youngest had received the Prix de Rome, the prize for the best statue in a competition, and could stay in Rome for a couple of years with the money linked to the prize. He had taken along his friend; in the past they had switched roles, when the eldest had a prize to work in Paris and had taken along the youngest. (...) The youngest was a beautiful man, he had reddish hair, with a handsome shock of hair and a shining beard. He was slim, and walked like dancing on the world. He also smiled friendly, he was a really handsome German, he with his velvet jacket. The eldest was very different, broad and sturdy, the head somewhat between the shoulders and with stumps of a dark beard he was by far not as handsome."

About 1894, Peterich, Berber, Dinchen, TC1851, Tinchen, Kumm

Given the hard data, it then becomes most likely that Kumm and Peterich met in Berlin in 1885/1886 in the Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbe-Museums. Wilhelm Kumm wins prizes with the Michael-Beerschen-Stiftung in 1888 and 1892. Perhaps in 1889 he went to Paris (taking along Peterich), and in 1892/93 they lived from Peterich's prize in 1890, before Kumm wins the other prize in 1892.

Otherwise Kumm is the youngest, and the other must be the eldest, which hence cannot be Peterich, and would be an elder sculptor Ku(e)hn who earlier had a prize for Paris. But I cannot find such a Ku(e)hn in Thieme-Becker. PM. The book may be confused about ages ? In 1893 Tine is 6 years, and for her book she must rely on memories of her

(3c) A curious event
Tine's book p121 has a curious event: 
"Toen de beeldjes af waren, gebeurde het dat de jongste vriend een groote bestelling in zijn vaderland kreeg en er heen moest reizen. De oudste was een en al agitatie hoe dat goed zou gaan. "Hij alleen op reis, hij het geld zelf beheeren, hij zonder de hulp van zijn ervaren vriend!" Maar de mooie man in het fluwelen jasje was den koning te rijk, hij zou zich overal wel doorheen slaan, en hij vroeg moeder: "Hoe kom ik nu in dat plaatsje waar uw zuster woont?" "Die van het portret met het oorijzer?" plaagde moeder (...)". 

"When the busts were finished, the youngest friend got a big assignment in his home country and had to go there. The oldest was wholly agitated whether that would go well. "He alone on a trip, he managing the money, he without the help of his experienced friend!" But the beautiful man in the velvet jacket was delighted, he would deal with the world, and he asked mother: "How would I then get in that little village where your sister lives?" "That one from the portrait with the large earrings?" mother teased him (...)"

We find in wikipedia that Peterich got: "Zudem erhielt er 1894 den Auftrag zur Erstellung des Chemnitz-Bellmann-Denkmals." 

In 1894, Kumm was 33 and Peterich was 30, so Tine's words must be an exaggeration. Indeed, it is surprising that she can recollect in 1928 all these memories from when she was 6 or 7. Undoubtedly she must have spoken with her mother and perhaps there were some diaries from her mother and also Dien.

Tine's book p122 tells us: German sculptor indeed visits the family in Beers, but the younger sister has just broken up an engagement, does not want to show herself ...


We find in the records that Peterich moved to The Hague in 1934 and then moved on to Wassenaar 1936, where his second wife G. Rooseboom dies in 1937 - and he himself apparently later in that year in Rotterdam. In The Hague, he theoretically might have met again the Cool family living there, but there is no record of that.