Founder, Byron Cohen, came from a lineage of art collectors in Kansas City. He held an art history degree from New York’s Columbia University. For almost fifty years, he and his wife Eileen avidly supported local and national contemporary artists, filling their home with major works and imbuing the art-as-a-way-of-life sensibility into their children.
After a full career in real-estate, Cohen embarked on a second career, turning his art-collecting passion into a flourishing contemporary art gallery. Established in 1994, Byron Cohen Gallery became a leader in creating and defining Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District, an area frequently cited as one of the nation’s most vibrant and active arts communities. Byron Cohen built partnerships with the region’s finest cultural institutions, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Fine Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Huntington Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art. Corporate clients include Microsoft, Sprint, the Stowers Institute, Shook, Hardy and Bacon, and Hallmark Cards.
Today, the gallery remains ahead of the market trend in Contemporary Art.
Shorty after Byron Cohen Gallery was established, the couple's daughter Toma Wolff returned to KC to assist her father in managing and curating the gallery. Toma had attended RISD and graduated with a BFA from VCU in 1994. She had then completed a two-year residency at the Appalachian Center for Craft, directing and curating the center's gallery. For Toma, a lifetime spent surrounded by artists and being immersed in the art scene gave her a discerning eye for the contemporary art market.
With the passing of Byron Cohen in 2013, Toma and Eileen continue today to carry the legacy of Byron Cohen Gallery into the future, with an expanding client base who rely on their keen eye and expertise to guide them in their art collecting endeavors.