Relocated Sculptures & Art Environments

It is Kohler Foundation’s preference to preserve art environments in situ whenever possible, but when it is not, the art is removed from the site, home, or studio of the artist and placed either in outdoor installations or in permanent collections where it can be cared for to museum standards. Research, documentation, and art conservation treatment are completed for all collections, large or small. In all cases, gifts of art are made to non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status and include art museums, cultural institutions, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, and other non-profits. Gifts of sculptures range from large and sometimes complete bodies of work to individual pieces.

One of Kohler Foundation’s largest and most successful projects entailed removing sculptures from the original art environment of Dr. Charles Smith in Aurora, IL. Over 500 sculptures were removed, conserved and placed in museums, colleges, and universities across the country, including large bodies of work at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. In this instance, it was at the request of the artist, Dr. Smith, that his work be broadly placed to help share his vision of African American history.

In another interesting and important project, seven stellar sculptures by Carl Peterson were purchased at auction in Maine. Kohler Foundation then undertook extensive research to locate other pieces from the original art environment which had previously been moved from St. James, MN. The dealer who had consigned the seven sculptures retained a fair amount of the original environment and Kohler Foundation acquired those pieces. Research helped locate missing sculptures, and excavation uncovered important missing bits and pieces. Much of the original art environment is now installed on the grounds of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.