Guest Curator Spotlight: John Franklin Koenig

We are excited to announce a special showcase of a singular artist whose body of erotic artwork spans 4 decades. This year’s guest curators are Claire Koenig and Steve Jensen. We are honored that they have put together a fantastic collection of works, creating a one of a kind erotic retrospective never before seen in the Pacific Northwest.

Thick Thrust by John-Franklin Koenig

John-Franklin Koenig, (1924 – 2008), a Seattle native, came to know and love the French culture while serving in the U. S. Army, Eleventh Armored Division under General Patton, during World War II.  After the war he attended University at Biarritz to study painting and then returned to Seattle to graduate from the University of Washington. During this period he became involved in the Seattle art scene, coming to know artists such as Mark Tobey and Morris Graves.  In 1948 Koenig moved to France, where he lived and worked for thirty years. With a partner, he opened the Galerie Arnaud in Paris and co-founded the art magazine Cimaise.  In 1979 he began spending half of each year in Seattle.  Like many Northwest artists in the middle of the twentieth century, John-Franklin Koenig invented himself as an artist, painter, photographer, writer, and world traveler.

In 1986 he acquired the title “Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters” and won the prestigious Gold Medal of the City of Paris.  With more than 300 solo exhibitions and over 300 group showings world-wide Koenig became a truly recognized and respected international artist.  Several museums have held major retrospectives of his work including the Paris Art Center, Galerie-Pompidou, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham.

During his long and prolific career he amassed several awards including:

1948 Honorable Mention, Student Exhibition, awarded by Mark Tobey; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle

1959 Foreign Artists’ Prize, Museum of Modern Art, Paris

1959 Art Critics of the Parisian Press Prize, 1st Biennial of Paris

1985 Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, French Ministry of Culture

1986 Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, French Ministry of Culture

1986 “Médaille de Vermeil,” Gold Medal of the City of Paris

2003 Honor award, Galerie-Pompidou and Villa Béatrix Enea, Anglet, France

We are very pleased to announce that his niece and curator of his collection, Claire Koenig, will give a art tour about him on Saturday at 4pm. The tour shall be known as, “ A History of John-Franklin Koenig and how his travel and sexuality influenced his art.” This informative art tour and lecture will take place in the Koenig’s special gallery, located next to the Master’s of Erotic Art and the Festival Store.

If you would like to learn more about this amazing artist before the tour on Saturday, April 28th please visit this page. Hooray Artists!

SEAF Tickets Available Here!