Oral Histories

Interview of Alfred Stendahl

Gallery owner known for collecting pre-Columbian and ancient art.
Los Angeles Art Community: Group Portrait, Alfred Stendahl
Los Angeles Art Community - Group Portrait
Biographical Note:
Gallery owner known for collecting pre-Columbian and ancient art.
Goodwin, George M.
Stendahl, Alfred
Persons Present:
Tapes I to III: Stendahl and Goodwin; Tape IV: Stendahl, Goodwin, Nancy Olexo, and Joel Gardner.
Place Conducted:
The Stendahl Gallery in Hollywood, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by George M. Goodwin, Interviewer-Editor, UCLA Oral History Program (for "L.A. Art Community: Group Portrait"); B.A., Art History, Lake Forest College; M.A., Art History, Columbia University; Ph.D., Art Education, Stanford University. Acting Curator of Education, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1975-1976.
Processing of Interview:
Editing was done by the interviewer. The verbatim transcript of the interview was checked against the original tape recordings and edited for punctuation, paragraphing, correct spelling, and verification of proper and place names. This final manuscript remains in the same order as the original taped material. Words and phrases added by the editor appear in brackets.Stendahl reviewed and approved the edited transcript. He made few corrections, fewer deletions, and he supplied spellings of names not previously verified. Lawrence Weschler, Assistant Editor, Oral History Program prepared the index. Other front matter was prepared by the Program staff.
5.5 hrs.
Interviewee Retained Copyright
Series Statement:
This series includes interviews with prominent Los Angeles-based visual artists and other members of the art establishment whose careers span the period from the 1920s through the 1970s. It documents the art community of the pre-World War II period and the rise of Los Angeles as a nationally recognized art center in the postwar period. Funding for this series was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Stendahl family background; early life of father, Earl Stendahl, in Wisconsin; father's move to Los Angeles and early experiences as art salesman for Cannell and Chaffin; opening of Stendahl Gallery, Ambassador Hotel, 1921; move to Wilshire Boulevard; combined art and candy business during Depression; early artists and customers; business moved to private residence; Earl Stendahl's interest in pre-Columbian art; Walter and Louise Arensberg collection; Vincent Price and the Modern Institute of Art, Beverly Hills; Robert Woods Bliss collection; relationship with clients; artists as collectors; role of dealer as educator; formation of Ethnic Arts Council; Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; collectors Vincent Price, John Huston, Robert A. Rowan, George Kennedy, Proctor Stafford; Phil Berg collection; Morton May collection; Stendahl collection; auction houses and effect on prices; collections in American museums; UCLA Museum of Cultural History; contents of Stendahl Gallery; death of Earl Stendahl; Stendahl book, Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America; art as commodity; art community of Los Angeles; UCLA art department.