John Koch 1909-1978


  • 44 1/2 x 30 inches (113 x 76.2 cm)
  • Oil on canvas
  • Signed lower right: Koch

Why We Love It

Unlike so many of his contemporaries during the 20th century, Koch was firmly committed to the realist tradition, and his work reflects the influences of the old masters such as Vermeer. This piece titled Bubbles demonstrates the artist’s technical skills as well as his ability to capture the quiet intimacy of domestic life.

The Value

Koch’s portraits of New York high society were very much in demand during his lifetime. They offer a view into a formal and refined world that is mostly gone now. The nostalgia that his paintings capture is deeply appealing to collectors of all kinds. And Koch’s command of his subject and artistic technique add great value to these paintings.

Artist Background

1909: Born in Toledo, Ohio; 1928: Studied in Paris by copying the Old Masters at the Louvre; 1929: Exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries and Salon du Printemp; 1933: Returned to New York City; 1935: Married the musician Dora Zaslavky and had his first New York exhibition at Valentine Dudensing Gallery; 1939: Signed on with Charles W. Kraushaar Gallery, where he exhibited many times throughout his career; 1940: Exhibited at the Whitney Museum in a group show titled “Forty Under Forty”; 1942-5: Joined the United Service Organizations (USO) in the art sketching and portrait division in veterans hospitals; 1944-46: Taught figure painting at the Art Students League; 1950: Exhibited at Metropolitan Museum of Art’s, “American Painting Today”; 1953: Elected to the National Academy of Design as an associate member; 1954: Became a full Academician at the NAD; 1964: Work was published on the cover of Time Magazine; 1970: Became an elected member of the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters; 1977: Exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska; 1978: Died.