Thursday, February 9, 2012

John Michael Kohler Arts Center Washroom

As you know I visited the Kohler Design Center last week and of course it was fabulous, there were so many beautiful ideas for bathrooms of every kind. Everytime I turned a corner I wanted that particular bathroom in my own house. While in the area I also stopped by one of my favorite museums, The John Michael Kohler Art Center, located in the former home of the Kohler family, the museum offers visitors access to cutting edge art exhibitions, performing arts, classes, the Artist/Industry program and much more.

Former Carnegie Library part of Kohler Arts Center

Mansion of Kohler Founder makes up part of the museum complex.

One of the most unusual aspects of the museum is that even the washrooms are used to showcase art. This the one of six artist designed washrooms, called The Women's Room. Designed by Massachusetts artist Cynthia Consentino a former Arts/Industry resident and noted ceramicist this bathroom "addresses the issues of identity and what society defines as a female."

Consentino worked for seven days a week from June through December 2004 with the help of two interns, four volunteers, and numerous Kohler Co. associates.  The Women's Room opened to the public in June 2005 after installation.

The artist created 30 original sculptural reliefs of female body types, animal figures, objects, accessories and plants. These were used to create molds from which Consentino cast hundreds of individual tiles that she then hand painted. The tiles were then assembled to create cohesive bodies, both recognisable female figures and fantastical forms, some a bit strange like the fox on the body builders body others like the paper dolls you may have played with as a child.

In addition there are over 120 glazed paintings of hats and shoes, hand-painted sinks and toilets and the lining of the interior stalls with womens "foundation" garmets. There is not an inch of this washroom that is not decorated. It is amazing, whimsical and a sight to see.

If you get the chance to visit Kohler or Sheboygan, Wisconsin which is where the museum is located you must stop here to see the John Michael Kohler Art Center. It is free and open to the public and if you visit with your children you can let them play in the Artery where they can do crafts relating to the current exhibition while you take the place in.

Have you been here? What do you think about it? If not I would love to know if you ever make it here and what you think. Tomorrow I will show you some images from the current exhibition.

I hope that you are having a great week. It is almost the weekend!


  1. What an interesting museum. I have only been to Wisconsin once when I took my daughter to visit the University in Madison. What a beautiful city. Thanks for the recommendation, and I will definitely check this out when I am there next. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy "Downton Abbey"!

  2. Hello Dear Friend,

    Wow, this is truly amazing...I would love to visit on my next trip there!!
    So creative..
    On to today's post!
    - Irina


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