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Hannah Kohn, 105, Longtime Artist and Dres​s-Shop Owner

March 13, 2008
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Hannah Kohn, 105, an artist and dress-shop owner, died Feb. 1 at her home in Rittenhouse Square.

Kohn's work was exhibited in shows at the Art Alliance and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In the late 1990s, her son, Eugene Kohn, put on an exhibit of her paintings and invited nearly 300 prominent guests to the gathering in Philadelphia. Among them was Thomas Krens, director of the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. He promised her that if she lived to be 100, he would give her a show at the Guggenheim.

On Kohn's 100th birthday in 2002, her artwork was exhibited at the Guggenheim. More than 100 of her paintings, still lifes and abstracts hung in the seventh-floor gallery of Frank Lloyd Wright's ivory spiral.

Kohn regularly attended the Plastic Club on Camac Street, known as the nation's oldest art club founded by women, for monthly critiques of her work. When she lost the sight in her right eye, she shifted from still lifes to abstract painting.

Kohn was best known in Philadelphia as the owner of the East Oak Lane dress shop that bore her name. Customers who bought haute couture from her shop sent letters when she closed it in 1973.

She also enjoyed cooking and baking.

In addition to her son, Kohn is survived by three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, William Kohn, in 1980.

Memorial donations can be made to: the University of Pennsylvania, c/o Kohn Family Fellowship at Penn Design, 210 S. 34th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311.

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