Artist Emily Mason

Emily Mason Spent Five Decades Exploring Abstraction

Emily Mason, whose work is in the collection of the Springfield Museums, died December 10 in her Brattleboro, VT, home.

One of America’s foremost non-representational painters, Emily Mason spent more than five decades exploring abstraction. The artist’s paintings combine an intriguing sense of intimacy with gentle intensity. Mason relied heavily on her intuition while painting, deliberately keeping her mind out of the process. “When I start a painting I like to use the medium as directly as I can,” Mason said. “This puts me in a state of mind that avoids pictorial constraints. I work to define spatial relationships; I cannot name them but know intuitively when they appear.”

Mason was born and raised in New York City and graduated from Cooper Union. She then spent two years in Italy from 1956-1958, on a Fulbright scholarship for painting. Emily Mason’s mother, Alice Trumbull Mason was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group in New York. The First Magnitude, by Alice Trumbull Mason, is on view in the Contemporary Gallery of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts at the Springfield Museums.

Photo by Joshua Farr

Works by Emily Mason from Our Collection