Earl L. Stendahl

Earl L. Stendahl (December 11, 1888 – May 18, 1966) was a pioneering American art dealer known for promoting California Impressionism, modern and pre-Columbian art. The gallery he founded celebrated its centennial in 2011.

Earl L. Stendahl
BornDecember 11, 1888
DiedMay 18, 1966
OccupationArt dealer
SpouseEnid Stendahl
Children1 son, 1 daughter

Early lifeEdit

Stendahl was born in Menomonie, Wisconsin.[1] His parents were confectioners.[1]


Stendahl moved to the Los Angeles area, where he opened his own candy store.[1] He opened his first gallery in Pasadena, California in 1913.[2] By 1921, he moved his gallery to the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He maintained a gallery on Wilshire Boulevard until 1949, where he moved it to his house on Hillside Avenue.[2] Stendahl's son, Alfred E. Stendahl and son-in-law, Joseph Dammann, joined the family business.[2]

By the 1930s, the gallerist had established his reputation as the premier dealer in painters of the California Impressionist School. William Wendt, Guy Rose, Edgar Payne, Joseph Kleitsch and Nicolai Fechin were part of the early Stendahl stable of artists.[citation needed] Stendahl introduced Modern art to the West Coast with works by Matisse, Chagall, Klee, Feitelson, Siqueiros, Cantú, Kandinsky, Braque and Picasso.[citation needed]

As early as 1935, Stendahl began promoting ancient artifacts from Mexico and Central America before branching out to become a significant dealer of the Pre-Columbian art of his day.[3]

He sold Mexican and Central American antiquities that were often stolen, looted, or assembled from disparate fragments. Often sold to Hollywood collectors, to museums, and even department stores.

Stendahl's archives were recently donated to the Getty. By studying the photos and records researchers can trace the history of Pre-Hispanic artworks of ceramic and stone that passed through Stendahl's gallery.

Personal life, death and legacyEdit

With his wife Enid,[4] Stendahl had a son, Alfred, and a daughter, Mrs Eleanor E. Damman.[5] They resided at 7055-65 Hillside Avenue in Hollywood, California.[2]

Stendahl died on May 18, 1966 in Morocco.[1][2] His gallery archives were donated to the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art in 1976.[3] The Stendahl Gallery continues to operate, celebrating its centennial in 2011, with Earl Stendahl's grandson, Ronald W. Dammann, presiding.[4][6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Earl Stendahl, Art Collector, Dies in Morocco". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. May 29, 1966. p. 15. Retrieved December 11, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e H.J.S. (May 29, 1966). "Earl Stendahl: In Memoriam". The Los Angeles Times. p. 31. Retrieved December 11, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b "Stendahl Art Galleries records, 1907-1971". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Crew, Adrienne (September 23, 2011). "Q&A: April Dammann on Earl Stendahl and the early LA art scene". LA Observer. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  5. ^ "Art Dealer Earl Stahlman Dies Abroad". The Los Angeles Times. May 21, 1966. p. 3. Retrieved December 11, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Rachel Rivenc (1 April 2016). Made in Los Angeles: Materials, Processes, and the Birth of West Coast Minimalism. Getty Publications. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-1-60606-465-8.

Further readingEdit

  • Damman, April (2011). Exhibitionist: Earl Stendahl, Art Dealer as Impresario. Santa Monica, California: Angel City Press. ISBN 9781883318864. OCLC 694616506.
  • Goodwin, George M., interviewer, "Los Angeles Community: Group Portrait, Alfred Stendahl." Oral History Program, UCLA, 1977.
  • Trenton, Patricia and Gerdts, William. California Light 1900-1930, Laguna Beach: laguna Art Museum, 1990.
  • Moure, Nancy Dustin Wall. Dictionary of Art and Artists n Southern California Before 1930, Los Angeles: privately printed, 1975.
  • Dailey, Victoria; Shivers, Natalie; Dawson, Michael. L.A.'s Early Moderns, Los Angeles: Balcony Press, 2003.