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A Finding Aid to the Stendahl Art Galleries records, 1907-1971: Historical Note

Stendahl Art Galleries records, 1907-1971

Historical Note

Earl Stendahl established Stendahl Art Galleries in 1911 in Los Angeles, California.
Earl Stendahl (1887-1966) came to Southern California from a small town in Wisconsin. He began showing young Los Angeles artists at his downtown restaurant, The Black Cat Café. He opened his gallery in The Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard and organized shows focusing primarily on California Impressionists of the early twentieth century, including Edgar Payne, Guy Rose, William Wendt, Nicolai Fechin, and Joseph Kleitsch.
Stendahl Art Galleries also began to sell European and Latin American modern art. In 1939, Stendahl hosted one of only two non-museum exhibitions of Pablo Picasso's masterwork,
Guernica
, to benefit Spanish war orphans.
As early as 1935 Stendahl began promoting ancient artifacts from Mexico and Central America. Stendahl's first client for pre-Columbian art and artifacts was noted collector Walter Arensberg. Stendahl and the Arensburgs became friends and Stendahl helped the Arensburgs build one of the most significant collections in the U.S.
The galleries are currently owned by Ronald W. Dammann, Stendahl's grandson.