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.
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.
Jim Nutt was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of a sales executive and a former bassoonist with the Denver Symphony.
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 spent his childhood in Roanoke, Virginia, and became fascinated with steel through his father, who maintained the railroad for the Norfolk and Western Railway.