Dr. Laurence Lerner of New York, a long time collector of tinsel art, approached Kohler Foundation about preserving his collection. A collection of 133 pieces plus books and research materials were gifted to Kohler Foundation by Laurence and Susan Lerner. Tinsel paintings, a form of American folk art and primarily created by women at home, were most popular in New England and along the Atlantic seaboard during the turn of the century. The work consists of reverse painting on glass utilizing tin foil to add light and sparkle. They tend to be very fragile, so it is an accomplishment to have a collection of this size and variety.
After arriving at Kohler Foundation, each piece was measured, documented, photographed, and evaluated for condition. Cleaning was undertaken by Kohler Foundation preservation technicians, under the direction of objects conservator Meghan Mackey.
Gifts have been made to the Folk Art Museum in New York and Edgewood College in Madison, WI.