Art Preserve: A Plan for the future


Since the 1970s, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center has worked to preserve and collect artist-built environments.

Today, the Arts Center looks forward to furthering its dedication to these remarkable creative expressions of personal and cultural experiences by taking the next steps in ensuring this unique art form continues to be accessible for generations to come. Welcome to the Art Preserve.

preserving the collection

The Art Preserve will provide a safe home for the over 20,000 works of art in the Arts Center’s world-class collection of works by artist-environment builders. Storage for the current collection has reached capacity and presents challenges in growing and cataloguing the collection. The Art Preserve remedies this problem with spaces designed specifically to house and care for this special collection.

Creating Opportunities

Through innovative design, the Art Preserve makes it possible for thousands of works in the Arts Center collection to be viewed, appreciated, and studied by a broad public. Much like the artists’ original sites, the new facility will offer multiple visitor experiences, from academic exploration to meditative consideration to exciting personal discovery. These opportunities will be available in a welcoming environment that also protects the works for future generations to enjoy.

Envisioning the Future

The Art Preserve will provide a secure, expandable facility that reimagines how visitors approach the unique art form of artist-built environments. The design embraces community accessibility and interaction while addressing current needs and anticipating growth in the collection. It will create a holistic moment in which the building, the surrounding landscape, and the collection become  an experience that is more than the sum of their individual parts.

Fundraising for the Art Preserve is ongoing. Please contact Rebecca Owen, deputy director for development, at or 920-694-4692 if you are interested in helping to ensure that the exceptional work of art- environment builders continues to be accessible for generations to come.


Images: Art Preserve conceptual drawing by tres birds workshop.