Works from the Estate of Sue Kohler

Sue Kohler lived a life devoted to art, architecture and design. Born in Grand Rapids, educated at the University of Michigan with advanced degrees in art history, Sue met her husband, the architect Carl R. Kohler, at Cranbrook where she had landed her first curatorial position at the Museum of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. They married in 1953, traveled extensively for his position at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and eventually settled in Washington, DC in 1959. 

Raising three children, Lisa, Peter and Eric, in their Georgetown row house, the Kohlers amassed an eclectic collection of midcentury modern furniture, architectural fragments and antiques. In 1974, Sue began a 35-year career as Chief Historian for the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, ultimately retiring at the age of 80. During her tenure at the Commission, she co-authored many books on Washington DC architecture and planning, including Designing The Nation’s Capital: The 1901 Plan for Washington, DC.

The present lot is drawn from the Estate of Sue Kohler, and reflects her lifelong passion for studying and collecting American design.

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