Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Kokomo's Temple B'Nai Israel inspires Indiana University Kokomo students, with its donation of artwork by Kokomo native Misch Kohn.

Art DonationIU Kokomo Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke, center, accepts a donation of a Misch Kohn painting from Frank Stein and Karen Mervis, from Kokomo’s Temple B’Nai Israel.Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke noted that more than 100 of the world's most prestigious museums and galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris and the Smithsonian Institution, have Kohn's prints in their collections.

"We are grateful to the members of the Kokomo Temple B'Nai Israel for the painting," she said. "I appreciated Karen Mervis and Frank Stein bringing the painting to campus. Since Misch Kohn is a Kokomo native, a graduate of the IU Herron School of Art, and received an honorary degree from IU Kokomo in 1991, it is most fitting that his work be displayed on our campus. I look forward to an exhibition of his work in our gallery in 2016."

Temple B'Nai Israel President Mervis said Kohn's family belonged to the temple, and they believe Kohn's mother gave the painting to the congregation.

"We have had it for many, many years," she said. "We thought with IU Kokomo's art gallery, and with Misch's background with IU, that would be a nice home for it. More people can enjoy it there, and it will get the respect it deserves."

IU Kokomo has another of Kohn's prints in its library. He was born in Kokomo in 1916, the son of Russian emigrants. He was an acclaimed painter and printmaker, sharing studio space with Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall while studying in France as a Guggenheim Fellow.

Locally, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library also has a work by Kohn in its collection.

Kohn died in 2003. He was posthumously inducted into the Howard County Hall of Legends in 2010.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.