New York | May 2021
Fields of Vision: The Private Collection of Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason will feature Modern, Post-War and Contemporary paintings, works on paper, prints and sculptures, which reflect the many friendships the couple developed with other artists in their lifetimes. This dynamic collection is characterized by the inquisitive and nurturing natures of Mason and Kahn who, outside their own studio practices, acquired meaningful works of art by their peers and artists they deeply admired.
Proceeds will benefit the Wolf Kahn | Emily Mason Foundation and the Emily Mason | Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation, preserving their artistic vision through exhibitions, research, and philanthropy.
The collection is led by Georgia O’Keeffe’s striking oil painting Autumn Leaf with White Flower of 1926. The couple acquired the piece in celebration of Kahn’s first sold-out show at the Grace Borgenicht Gallery in the late-1970s. Other highlights include the 1957 still life Cups II by Richard Diebenkorn, with whom Kahn and Mason formed a friendship when Kahn was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley in 1960, as well as two 1959 canvas and steel sculptures by Lee Bontecou, a fellow Fulbright scholar who Mason befriended en route to their studies in Italy in 1956. The auction will also include Interior with Yellow Lamp by Milton Avery, who was a close friend of Mason’s mother, the pioneering abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason.
Highlights of the collection will be offered in a dedicated live auction on 18 May 2021 in New York, alongside Christie’s American Art Week, and a dedicated online sale of the collection will take place 6-20 May 2021. The sales will be on view by appointment in our Rockefeller Center galleries 15-17 May 2021, with select works also exhibited during Christie’s preceding 20/21 Week.
Husband and wife artists Kahn and Mason’s art collection reflects and celebrates their relationships with other artists
For Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason, art was about embracing the radical reinvention of Abstract Expressionism, and adding their own unique voices to the canon of twentieth-century Post-War art
Wander through the late artist Emily Mason’s artist studio on 20th Street in New York City and envision the artist at work among her “wall of friends”
Here we explore the pivotal inspirations and relationships from each decades of their lives, which mirror their unique bodies of work and collecting story
About the lot
Proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Wolf Kahn | Emily Mason Foundation and the Emily Mason | Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation.
Established in 1998 by artists Wolf Kahn (1927–2020) and Emily Mason (1932–2019), the Kahn | Mason Foundation has consistently supported cultural organizations through grants for exhibitions, artist residencies, and community engagement with the arts. The joint expression of their philanthropy will continue as the Foundation expands its mission to serve as the steward of Kahn’s artistic legacy.
The newly formed Emily Mason | Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation will spearhead the stewardship of Emily Mason’s artistic legacy alongside that of her mother’s, Alice Trumbull Mason (1904–1971) and embark on a philanthropic program dedicated to advancing opportunities for fellow artists.
Together, these two Foundations preserve the vision of three artists—in one family—through exhibitions, publications, research, archives, and philanthropy.
New York | 18 May 2021
Directly following Fields of Vision: The Private Collection of Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason, our May 18th American Art sale features a selection of highlights ranging across the genre— from the Hudson River School and art of the American West, to American Illustration and Modernism.
We welcome you to visit our Rockefeller Center galleries for our preview exhibition 15-17 May. Please contact us to schedule an appointment for your visit.
Introducing 20/21: A new era for the art world
New York & Online | April – May 2021
Beginning in New York this May, Christie’s will shift its approach to presenting the art of the 20th and 21st centuries in anticipation of a new era for the art world. Christie’s will now offer major auctions of ‘20th Century Art’ and ‘21st Century Art’, replacing the ‘Impressionist and Modern Art’ and ‘Post-War and Contemporary Art’ nomenclatures. The new format will underscore the radical nature of the modern masters and their lasting impact on the art being created today; emphasize the electricity and relevance of the art created over the past 40 years; and make room for the new — both physical and digital.
Christie’s is proud to support philanthropic initiatives through our networks, whether by facilitating the sale of artwork to benefit important causes; offering, when we can, our salerooms as a venue for fundraising events; or providing expert charity auctioneers.