Ruth Kohler has become a living legend in Wisconsin as a result of her several decade’s long participation as patron, volunteer, administrator and moving force at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan. Her visionary goals as Director there since 1972 have raised that institution to an international level, enriching the entire state by its presence. A visit to the Kohler Art Center brings one in contact with the most progressive stimulating art shown anywhere in the US. Its programs include performances, children’s education, conservation of historic artist sites, being champion of Outsider and visionary art around the globe, scholarly research and publication, and a unique “Arts and Industry” program associated with the internationally known Kohler Co.
Following is a partial list of Ruth’s accomplishments: She has served as Chairman and member of the Wisconsin Arts Board, been on the panel of the National Endowment for the Arts, served as Director and member of the Kohler Foundation, been a member of the Wisconsin American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and on the National Crafts Planning Board, received honorary doctorates from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, UW Oshkosh and Lakeland College, been a member of the Board of Curators of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, serves on the Wisconsin Academy's Council as Vice President for the Arts and is a Fellow of the Academy, a juror and speaker, a recipient of a Governors Award in Support of the Arts and the Visionary Award from the American Craft Museum in New York, the Smith Medal from Smith College of Massachusetts for exceptional achievement in the Arts, and has been a continuing force behind the scenes who cares about and improves Wisconsin’s regional art culture. There may be no one else in the state that has ever compiled a record of this magnitude.
Works by Ruth DeYoung Kohler