Doug Coffin grew up on the grounds of Haskell Institute, an Indian boarding school (now Haskell Indian Nations University) in Lawrence, Kansas, where his father was the school’s head coach. As a young boy he was surrounded by Native Americans of many tribes and traditions. The pride and beautiful craftsmanship of the Pow-Wow costumes and art, along with his own Potowatomi and Creek heritage, inspired him to become an artist.
After receiving a BFA from the University of Kansas and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Sculpture and Jewelry, Coffin’s career has seen his artwork placed in more than forty public collections and boasts six global placements through the Art in Embassies program. His monumental sculpture has stood regally in the White House Sculpture Garden among global
The Grand Palais in Paris, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Museum of the American Indian in both Washington, DC and New York City, and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, have all featured his creations. Coffin has received the Ford Foundation Grant, National Teaching Fellowships and honorary status in Who’s Who in American Art. Remarkably, when traveling abroad, it is equally common to encounter Coffin’s work in Africa, Italy, France, Ecuador and so on across the globe. Coffin's "Earth Messenger Totem" was installed at the White House during the Clinton administration.