Thomas Coffin

Born in Lawrence Kansas, 1955. Thomas Warner Coffin comes from a diverse cultural background including a mixture of American Indian tribes and early western frontiersman and pioneers from Kansas and Oklahoma. He attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and received a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Early works while living in Santa Fe, working as a supervisor at Shidoni Fine Art Bronze Foundry, concentrated on cast bronze stylized figurative sculpture utilizing inlaid precious metal plating fusing his knowledge of jewelry making learned in junior high and high school. The sculptures were cast in small editions and are in private collections throughout the United States. In 1988 he received a commission to sculpt four life-size bronze figures, “All American Family”, for the headquarters of McDonald’s Corporation in Chicago.

In 1989 he moved to New York City and continued to work with the bronze figure. Projects involving architectural restoration with one of only four companies authorized to work on landmark and historic buildings such as Carnegie Hall, The Audubon Society Building and the Pierre Hotel influenced the direction of his work. He began using architectural inspired and abstract motifs utilizing cast concrete, cast aluminum, bronze, stone, oil painting, and mixed media. These influences appeared in later commissions. In 1994 he designed and constructed Native American inspired architectural elements for the entrance of the Smithsonian Museum of The American Indian in New York City. In 1996 he won a commission to create and build a monument for Route 66 for the New Mexico Highway Department and New Mexico Arts Commission in Tucumcari.

While in New York City he began working with artist Julia King designing and making cast stone, ceramic, and wood objects and art furniture. They became known for their use of gold leaf. The Coffin & King works were sold in high-end department stores such as Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue and represented by Archetype Gallery in Soho, galleries across the country, and featured editorially in House Beautiful, Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times Magazine. In 1992 the two artists were married and continued working on more elaborate designs. In 1999 they remodeled a mid-century home in Scottsdale as a showcase for their works and built Coffin & King Studio on the property, where Tom has developed a body of abstract paintings and sculpture.

Recently he has begun a new series of mixed media dioramas inspired by his childhood fascination with history museum diorama scenes. They are a product of years of mastering many techniques, and the culmination of observations during years of traveling across the country and around the world. Events throughout his life including his rigorous Catholic school upbringing in Kansas and his fascination with history, World War II in particular, along with his awe of nature’s fury in the form of storms are evoked in this new series of works.

Coffin is represented in Santa Fe, NM exclusively at POP Gallery. Contact us for a private viewing of the work by phone 505.820.0788 or email to

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