1932 – 2019
Born in January 1932 and raised in New York City, Emily Mason was encouraged to explore art from an early age, as a descendant of historic painter John Trumbull and daughter of noted artist Alice Trumbull Mason. A graduate of New York City’s High School of Music and Art, she attended Bennington College and the Cooper Union. In 1956, she was awarded a two-year Fulbright grant to paint in Venice, Italy. There she studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti where she first experimented with blotting and transferring paint onto the surface of the canvas. Afterward, Mason moved into her own studio in the Giudecca. During her time in Venice, she married the painter Wolf Kahn. They have two daughters, Cecily and Melany. While the art scene in the 1960s was heavily male-dominated, she quickly made a name for herself.
Since her first solo show in 1960 at the Area Gallery, Mason has exhibited regularly in New York City. In 1979, she was awarded the Ranger Fund Purchase Prize by the National Academy. She taught painting at Hunter College for more than 25 years. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections.
Mason’s works are most easily described as Abstract Expressionism. Her brush strokes add texture and depth, but it is her fascination and exploration of color that has drawn in viewers for decades. Her vibrant color choices express a wide array of emotions, and the combinations bring a unique vitality to her canvases.