Emily Mason Biography

Emily Mason




Emily Mason, painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born on January 12, 1932, in Greenwich Village New York City to artist Alice Trumbull Mason and Warwood Edwin Mason.

Emily Mason attended the New York City's High School of Music and Art. Between 1950 and 1952, she studied at Bennington College before enrolling in Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where she graduated in 1955. She was awarded a Fulbright grant in 1956, which she used to study painting in Italy. Mason earned a second year on the Fulbright grant, and she studied briefly at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. While in Venice, she married artist Wolf Kahn and, in 1958, they returned to New York. Daughter Cecily was born in 1959 and the family returned to Italy in 1963. The following year daughter Melany was born in Rome.

Mason is one of America’s foremost non-representational painters. Her first solo exhibition was mounted at the Area Gallery in New York City in 1960. In 1979, she began a twenty-five year teaching career at Hunter College in New York City. In 1989, Robert Conway, then director of Associated American Artists, invited Mason to publish prints and she created a series of "silk collagraphs" which were featured in an exhibition at the gallery in the spring of 1990.

In 1979, Mason was awarded the Ranger Fund Purchase Prize by the National Academy. Her work is held in numerous corporate collections, as well as the Brooklyn Museum, National Academy Museum, New Britain Museum, Springfield Museum, and Wheaton College.

Emily Mason died on December 10, 2019 at her home in Brattleboro, Vermont.