Major Collections

While Kohler Foundation is well known for the preservation of art environments, not every project entails the preservation of art in situ. At times, Kohler Foundation is involved in preserving an artist’s entire body of work, and on occasion will preserve single pieces of art or small collections. For nearly 30 years, Kohler Foundation has conserved collections of work by twentieth-century self-taught artists, but in recent years, that work has expanded to include other artists, many of them trained.

Kohler Foundation often seeks work of specific artists in an attempt to bring together a cohesive body of that particular artist’s work. So is the case with artists like Albert Zahn, Levi Fisher Ames, Ernest Hupeden, Nek Chand, David Butler, Fred Smith, and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. In all cases, Kohler Foundation joins forces with conservators, curators, scholars, the artists and their families, local governments, collectors, museums, and a broad range of organizations across the country to accomplish this work. Very recently, we have worked with the estates of Ray Yoshida and Schomer Lichtner to preserve and place very large bodies of work in museums and other non-profit institutions. We have also undertaken similar work with living artists, perhaps most notably with Dr. Charles Smith. Kohler Foundation saved more than 500 sculptures from his art environment, preserved the sculptures, and made gifts to more than 19 museums and other organizations for this project alone.