Oral history interview with Wolf Kahn, 1977 Nov. 28-1978 Jan. 6
Sound recording: 2 sound tape reels ; 5 in.
Transcript: 169 p.
Interview with Wolf Kahn, conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in his New York City studio, on November 28, 1977 and January 16, 1978.
Kahn speaks of being raised by his grandparents in Germany in the 1930s; coming to England via the children's transport prior to the outbreak of World War II; emigrating to the US after the war; joining the Navy; his art classes at the Hofmann School; his early exhibitions in New York and involvement at the Hansa Gallery; living in Oregon; his artistic influences, including Bonnard, Van Gogh, Kokoschka, and Soutine; the New York art scene in the 1950s, including at the Artists' Club; meeting his wife Emily; the change in his style after visiting Venice; his use of colors and pastels; exhibiting at Grace Borgenicht's Gallery; his experiences teaching art at Haystack and other schools; the idea of the "problem" in formalist art; his working methods; and his impressions of contemporary art and art students. Kahn also recalls Barnett Newman, Meyer Schapiro, Franz Klein, Willem de Kooning, Stuart Davis, Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, Felix Pasilis, Clement Greenberg, Stefan Wolpe, Allan Kaprow, Fairfield Porter, Tom Hess, Richard Bellamy, Grace Borgenicht, Frank O'Hara, Milton Avery, Jim Dine, and others.
Place of publication, production, or execution: United States
General Note: Sound quality is poor.
Citation: Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Wolf Kahn, 1977 Nov. 28-1978 Jan. 6. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms: Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Funding: Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Biography Note: Wolf Kahn (1927- ) is a painter from New York, N.Y.
Provenance: These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Location Note: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001