Art Environments

Collection Series

Mary Nohl House

In and around her cottage on the Lake Michigan shore just north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, artist Mary Nohl created a vivid, multidimensional art environment. Nohl was deeply inspired by the immense lake lying just outside her door. She envisioned a fantasy world beneath the waves, where creatures lived funny and interesting lives.

Mary Nohl spent over fifty years transforming her property and home into a multifaceted art environment. She built dozens of concrete sculptures in the yard. She created a colorful wooden reliefs of swimmers and boaters and applied them to the exterior of the house. Wind chimes and wooden fish hung in the trees. Inside the home, she altered the floors, walls, light fixtures and furniture. In 2015, the John Michael Arts Center embarked on a large-scale restoration of the site. That project is ongoing.