The visual arts have long been a source of academic focus and shared pride at Marlboro, and in this area one of the college’s supporters stands out: world-renowned artist Wolf Kahn.
“Marlboro is lucky to have benefited from such a long and fruitful association with Wolf, who has given so generously of his vibrant talents,” says President Kevin Quigley. “His support of visual arts at the college has had a lasting impact.”
Wolf was lured to this region by his friend and fellow artist Frank Stout, who taught at the college for 28 years starting in 1965. He recalls that Frank said of Brattleboro, “It’s a normal community. It’s not an arty town.” Wolf adds, “I liked the idea that we would live in a regular community.”
For decades Wolf has divided his time between his residence in New York City and his summer home in West Brattleboro. He has held many different roles at the college, participating on an academic advisory board during President Ragle’s tenure and serving as an outside examiner for art students completing their Plans of Concentration. In 1992 Wolf endowed a scholarship at the college to be awarded annually to a junior or senior who demonstrates talent in the visual arts.
Former college president Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, whom Wolf describes as “an old friend,” determined soon after she took office in 2004 that the arts faculty and their students were sorely in need of better facilities and supplies. Wolf generously provided funding to complete the welding shed and equip the sculpture studio. More recently, Marlboro received a grant from the Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation to construct an on-campus storage facility for the artwork of Frank Stout, who passed away in 2012.
“I’ve always thought Frank to be one of the most talented, underrated painters in America,” Wolf says of the friend who introduced him to Vermont and Marlboro College. “I would like to see much of his work available and kept in good shape.” Now 88 years old, Wolf is still fully occupied as a painter and continues to serve as a Marlboro trustee.