William Kolliker was one of El Paso’s most beloved artists and is a member of the El Paso Artists’ Hall of Fame. Born in Berne, Switzerland on October 12, 1905, Kolliker moved to New York at the age of 16. Having artistic talent early on, he found a job with the art department of the New York American. Eventually he became the art director and art editor of the American Weekly, a position he held for twenty-five years. Mr. Kolliker studied at the Grand Central Art School, the Maryland Institute of Art, and the Boston School of Art.Soon after his relocation to El Paso, Kolliker became one of the city’s foremost artists. He created countless pieces for public and private display, and even created designs used by the U.S. Mint. Despite creations of great national significance, Mr. Kolliker was always most dedicated to painting the land that he loved, the Southwestern desert. In particular was his love of the Pre-Columbian mythology which once inhabited this desert landscape. It is a collection of these Pre-Columbian masterpieces in watercolor, along with his personal collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts that the International Museum of Art now houses.
Mr. Kolliker has created countless works of art which hang in the most prestigious places. Among his many accomplishments:
- Created a mosaic mural in the downtown El Paso Savings Bank
- Designed the 7 ft. high eagles for the Amistad Dam dedicated by President Nixon
- Designed 10 ounce medals cast by the U.S. Mint
- Designed 2 silver plaques presented to Mexican President Lopez Mateos and U.S. President LBJ on the occasion of the Chamizal settlement