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The Stendahl Art Galleries records document the business dealings of the Los Angeles gallery from 1913 to 2017. The gallery initially exhibited works by modern and local artists, but transitioned in 1935 to dealing mostly in pre-Hispanic art. Stendahl Art Galleries sold pre-Hispanic works to a variety of collectors, dealers, and institutions, and is considered a significant gallery in the history of that market. The records comprise subject files; photographic files; exhibition files; documents related to publications; financial records; administrative files; correspondence; and Stendahl family papers including research files for the book Exhibitionist: Earl Stendahl Art Dealer as Impresario by April Dammann.
Earl Stendahl, art dealer, candy maker, and proprietor of Stendahl Art Galleries, was born in 1888 to a family of bakers and confectioners in Menomonie, Wisconsin. In 1909, he and his wife Enid traveled to California and after a stint selling cars in San Diego moved permanently to Los Angeles. Soon thereafter he re-entered the family trade, drawing on both his experience at his parents' restaurant and his in-laws' financial support to open the Black Cat Café on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. A resourceful businessman, Earl continually implemented new features to set his establishment apart from competitors. To capitalize on the art dealers and aficionados who frequented the café, he began hanging the work of local artists on its walls, marking his first professional foray into the art world.
40 Linear Feet (128 boxes, 2 film reels, 4 flatfiles)
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Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of un-reformatted audiovisual materials, which are unavailable until reformatted, and materials unavailable due to preservation concerns.