Wolf Khan 1927-2020
Wolf Kahn and his wife, Emily Mason, were married for more than sixty years. Mason died in December, 2019, and Kahn died just three months later.
They were both extraordinary artists. The couple lived in New York and spent summers in Brattleboro, Vermont. They painted, raised their two daughters, Cecily and Melany, and, apparently, foraged for mushrooms.
Their youngest daughter, Melany, said that her parents loved to go foraging. “My dad loved to forage for anything you could pluck off a tree or bush or pick off the ground,” she said in a recent interview. Her mother was particularly interested in finding mushrooms.
“If you took a trip in the car with my parents, you had to have a book and you had to have a basket,” Melany said. “The book was because my dad would see a barn, veer off the side of the road and do a pastel for 45 minutes. And it was really helpful if you’d like to forage because you could jump in the woods with my mom and come out with a full basket.”
Cecily followed in her parents’ footsteps and became an artist. Melany says that she doesn’t have, “…an ounce of artistic talent.”
She may not draw or paint, but Melany does have talent. She attended Wesleyan University, received an MSW from Boston College and an MFA in Film from The Tisch School. She taught film production and documentary at NYU, and was a longtime family mediator.
Melany splits her time between a home in Vermont and a home in Maine and has been teaching children to forage for mushrooms for more than twenty years.
This year she published a book called, Mason Goes Mushrooming. The dedication reads: For my parents, Emily and Wolf, whose love of foraging was contagious. And to my husband and children, who happily caught the bug. (Mason, the subject of the book, is Wolf Kahn’s grandson, now in his twenties.)
The Wolf Kahn Foundation and the Emily Mason Foundation have jointly awarded $800,000 to six institutions in New York and Vermont. The recipients are: The New York Botanical Gardens, the Hunter College Advanced Curatorial Certificate Program, the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, the International Print Center in New York, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center and the Vermont Studio Center.
Kevin O’Connor. A daughter of acclaimed Vermont artists finds her own creativity mushrooming. VTDigger. September 27, 2022.
BMAC, Vermont Studio Center each get $100,000 from Wolf Kahn Foundation. Vermont Biz. June 26, 2022.
$800,000 Awarded to Six Institutions by Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundations. ArtForum. June 23, 2022.