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Press Release

Marion Coffey: The Art of Color opens May 7, 2022

Exhibition March 28, 2022

(WEST BEND, WISCONSIN – March 28, 2022) –The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) presents The Art of Color, a museum debut exhibition of Milwaukee-area artist Marion Coffey (1924–2011) a decade after her death. The exhibition showcases nearly 40 works by Coffey, many of which are on public view for the first time.

The exhibition is on view May 7–July 10, 2022. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2:00–4:00.

MOWA director and curator for exhibition Laurie Winters worked closely with the artist’s daughter, Lisa Coffey Robbins, to reconstruct her mother’s life and work for the exhibition. Winters stated that “there are occasionally artists who work quietly their entire life without critical recognition or acclaim. Thanks to the commitment and perseverance of her daughter and family, MOWA is delighted to offer Marion Coffey the critical acclaim she wholeheartedly deserves in her debut exhibition at a museum.”

Over a seven-decade career, Coffey created an impressive body of rich, dazzling paintings in acrylic and oil on both canvas and large sheets of paper torn by hand. Coffey translated her experiences as a pioneering female commercial artist in Chicago and later in Milwaukee into a sophisticated vision that was imbued with a deep understanding of European and American precedents mastering the simple pleasures—from bouquets of vibrant tulips to lavender-covered fields of southern France. Her brilliantly hued paintings are wonderfully affirmative, expressing a joy in seeing and being that she wanted to share. She was deeply influenced by the French Fauve painters and the German Expressionists: as it was for them, color became her chief means of capturing a subject but also communicating what is feels like as much as what it looks like.

The art of Marion Coffey has been represented by the Tory Folliard Gallery since 1991. To learn more about the artist, visit

MOWA’s 2022 exhibitions are supported in part by James & Karen Hyde, Pick Heaters, and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30–4:00. Admission as low as $15 provides unlimited visits for one full year.

Contact the PR team for additional information and high-resolution images for press usage.


A vital cultural center, educational institution, an expanding network of ideas, the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) collects and interprets American art through the lens of a single state. Informed by dynamic initiatives and collaborations, MOWA is an innovative forum for contemporary artists, socially relevant exhibitions, lectures by artists and industry experts, and engaging classes and activities for all ages.

MOWA has two permanent venues—the West Bend “Mothership” and MOWA | DTN in downtown Milwaukee’s Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel—as well as two partnering community organizations that create access across the state. MOWA annually welcomes 200,000 visitors, making it a cultural destination for the art and artists of our time.