August 11, 2011 — January 2, 2012
Made in Chicago: The Koffler Collection features twenty-five paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from 1960 to 1980, including works by Roger Brown, Leon Golub, Theodore Halkin, Vera Klement, Ellen Lanyon, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Barry Tinsley, and Ray Yoshida. The artworks are all by Chicago artists from the S. W. and B. M. Koffler Foundation collection, given to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Samuel and Blanche Koffler. The Kofflers, avid art collectors in Chicago, formed a foundation in 1971 to purchase art by local artists. A board of five administrators—a painter, a sculptor, a museum director, an art historian, and a critic—all with Chicago connections, determined the acquisitions. Many of the artworks in the installation are typical of the well-known Chicago taste for figurative art. Guest curator Franz Schulze, a Chicago-based art critic, and acting chief curator George Gurney organized the exhibition.
This collection is presented in honor of Blanche Koffler, who passed away in 2010, and Samuel Koffler, who passed away in 1994, and their generous dedication to contemporary art.