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Oral history interview with Esther Robles, 1981 August 24-31

Robles, Esther Waggoner, 1907-2001

Gallery owner


Collection Information

Size: 125 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 13 min.

Summary: An interview of Esther Robles conducted 1981 August 24-31, by Ruth Bowman, for the Archives of American Art.
Robles speaks of her family background; early art training; opening her own gallery in the 1940s; exhibitions at the gallery and artists who exhibited; the art community in Los Angeles and some of the problems in being a dealer there; her dedication to showing a variety of artists; working on the U.S. Treasury Department's Art Advisory Panel; and the closing of her gallery. She recalls Stanton Macdonald-Wright. Also present is Robles' husband, Robert.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ester Robles (1907-2001) was a gallery director from Los Angeles, Calif.


These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Esther Robles, 1981 August 24-31. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.