The Kerr Gallery, owned by Michael and Ruby Kerr, was established in 1978, and at that time, bought and sold Native American art exclusively, both prehistoric and historic pieces from all Native American cultures. As the years passed our interests expanded, as did our inventory. Today we not only maintain a large Native American collection, but now represent the following areas:

American and International folk art
18th, 19th, and 20th century, including a collection of African American quilts, plus "outsider" art.

Tribal and ethnographic art
Native American, African, Pacific Rim, Papua New Guinea, Americas, Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial.

Including country textiles (Boro). The boro collection, along with other Japanese antiques, including some striking kimonos.

Including a great collection of Bennington, Rockingham Glazed, that I am liquidating for a Tennessee collector.

Michael Kerr's biography
Michael received a BA degree from Roosevelt University, a BFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the Art Institute in 1976. Prior to receiving his degrees, Michael and Ruby served as Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka (Ceylon), where his interest began to develop.

Upon completing his MFA, he taught full and part time and various colleges and universities in the Chicago-land area, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1978 he, and his wife Ruby, started this gallery business.

In the early 1980's he was a charter member and lecturer in the Primitive Art Society of Chicago, held at Chicago's Field Museum. Michael died suddenly on 7/30/2011, but the gallery continues under the direction of Ruby Kerr.

Ruby Kerr's biography
Ruby graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a BA in business. She worked for many years as VP of Credit & Collection at RR Donnelley, a Fortune 500 printing company in Chicago. Michael & Ruby moved to Milwaukee in 2005, where she accepted a position in the credit department of Johnson Controls. While her career was "officially" in the corporate world, she always loved art and antiques and the fun of being a collector.

Ruby retired in 2012 and now devotes full time to the gallery and maintaining this website.

The Kerr Gallery has advertised in American Indian Art Magazine, American Folk Art Magazine, Raw Vision, and Tribal Arts Magazine. Some artifacts are also shown in the Riverview Antique Market in downtown Milwaukee (booth & case #C-1).

Examples from collection of African American quilts can currently be seen in the book "Vintage Quilts" by Maggi McCormick Gordon.

Various works from the gallery can in be found in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Denver Art Museum, and The San Diego Museum of Man, as well as many major private collections. Contact Ruby Kerr for more information on any item (

Click on "Indian Art". "African", "Americas", "Japanese", "Folk", "Antique", "Pottery", "Quilts", or "Oceanic" to see the items for sale.

The large collection of books on tribal and folk art are now being offered for sale on Amazon, under the name of Milwaukee Tribal Folks. I also have a collection of Native American photographs that is not on this site. Again, please contact me for additional information.