Made in Chicago: The Koffler Collection

Media - 1979.53.34 - SAAM-1979.53.34_2 - 134744

Ray Yoshida, Partial Evidences II, 1973, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the S. W. and B. M. Koffler Foundation

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.

Visiting Information

August 11, 2011 January 2, 2012
Open Daily, 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Free Admission


Roger Brown
born Hamilton, AL 1941-died Atlanta, GA 1997

Born in Alabama, Roger Brown became involved with the Chicago Imagists when he was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1960s.

Leon Golub
born Chicago, IL 1922-died New York City 2004
Theodore Halkin
born Chicago, IL 1924
Vera Klement
born Danzig, Poland 1929
Ellen Lanyon
born Chicago, IL 1926-died New York City 2013
Jim Nutt
born Pittsfield, MA 1938

Jim Nutt was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of a sales executive and a former bassoonist with the Denver Symphony.

Ed Paschke
born Chicago, IL 1939-died Chicago, IL 2004

Edward F. Paschke studied painting at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received his BFA in 1961and MFA in 1970. His first solo exhibition was at the Galerie Darthea Speyer in Paris.

Barry Tinsley
born Roanoke, VA 1942

Barry Tinsley spent his childhood in Roanoke, Virginia, and became fascinated with steel through his father, who maintained the railroad for the Norfolk and Western Railway.

Ray Yoshida
born Kapaa, HI 1930-died Kauai, Hawaii 2009