Design + Architecture

Amazing Bathrooms

by Sophia Banay

The flush: John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

The lowdown: The line between bodily function and art has always been a blurred one, at least according to some. But don't worry: We're not talking about that kind of art, the blasphemous National Endowment for the Arts-funded type. The public bathrooms in Wisconsin's John Michael Kohler Arts Center are much more genteel (and yes, these are the plumbing Kohlers). The center commissioned six American artists to create their own pictorial privy: Artist Ann Agee's bathroom is awash in royal-blue and white delft-style tiles. Carter Kustera's, titled Tell Me Something I Don't Already Know, is covered in cryptic sentences, quotations culled from hundreds of "normal" people who gave Kustera a brief sentence describing themselves. Look for such bon mots as "Bob won't admit that the squirrel has beaten him" (yeah, we don't get it either). The bathrooms have proved so popular that patrons often ignore the gender-specific door signs to view what's inside. We hope that doesn't cause another art controversy.

If you have to go:
John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Tel: 920 458 6144

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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