Welcome to the Arts Center's Collection

Arts/Industry artist Jim Neel opens a mold in the Kohler Co. Pottery, 2009.
Installation view of The World in a Garden: Nek Chand at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2017.
Artist-built Environments
The Arts/Industry collection comprises works of art produced by artists-in-residence in the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s world-renowned Arts/Industry program. Often cited as one of the most unusual ongoing collaborations between arts and industry in the United States, Arts/Industry is coordinated and administered by the Arts Center and hosted and supported by Kohler Co. All of the works of art produced by artists during their residencies belong to them. Artists are asked to donate one work of art to the collection of the Arts Center and one to that of Kohler Co.
Since the 1970s, the Arts Center has been involved in the preservation, study, and exhibition of work by vernacular artists and has worked closely with Kohler Foundation, Inc. (KFI) to preserve the objects and environments they have made. Art environment builders transform their homes, yards, or other aspects of their personal surroundings into multifaceted works of art that, in vernacular ways, embody and express the locale—time, era, place—in which each of them lived and worked.

How to Search
Search by Keyword or use our Advanced search functionality. Keyword search allows you to search all fields. Advanced search allows you to narrow your search to a specific field. You can also browse the collection using the Random Images or Objects features. Searches use OR to connect words (e.g., a search for Jack Earl will return records associated with Jack OR Earl). If you want to find records where both words are included, type AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, put the phrase in quotes (e.g., "coffee cup"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wild card (e.g., a search for and* would come up with records containing Andy, Anderson, andiron, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.