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Born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1927, Wolf Kahn fled Nazi Germany to Britain through the Kindertransport in the late 1930s.  He eventually settled in the United States, where he completed high school and enrolled in the Navy. Following his service, he studied with the legendary teacher and Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, eventually becoming his studio assistant. In 1950, he enrolled at the University of Chicago and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree within one year.

Kahn had his first solo exhibition at Hansa Gallery in New York City in 1953 and went on to be represented by Grace Borgenicht Gallery, where he exhibited regularly until 1995. He was the recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Medal of Arts from the State Department.

Kahn married the artist Emily Mason in 1957.Their marriage lasted sixty-two years until Emily’s death in December 2019, just a few months before his passing. The pair lived and worked between New York City and W. Brattleboro, Vermont.

Kahn’s work has been exhibited at galleries and museums throughout North America. His work is held in important museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; and The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

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