Rudy Rotter


It is estimated that Dr. Rudy Rotter created more than 16,000 works of art in a career that spanned 45 years. A successful dentist, Rotter began making and exhibiting art at the age of 43. A prolific artist, he filled three stories of his own Museum of Sculpture in his home town of Manitowoc, WI. A self-taught artist, Rotter carved sculptures, painted, created assemblages, and in the later years, increasingly worked with found items. He was passionate about his art, and always infused an exuberant sense of joy in every piece and every day.

Rotter’s art has been shown at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, the Lawton Art Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and the Rahr West Art Museum in Manitowoc, WI, as well as the now closed Museum of Sculpture in Manitowoc, WI.

Kohler Foundation worked closely with the artist in 1997 to select a significant body of his best work to be placed at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Rotter was still actively creating at this time, spending long days in his studio/museum, and was very involved in the process of selecting pieces for this collection. He joyfully lived to see his work shown at a major museum and well enjoyed by the public.