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Perls Galleries building

Subject:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1954
Topic:
Buildings  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10790
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10790
Additional Online Media:

Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997

Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Subject:
Miró, Joan  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine  Search this
Streisand, Barbra  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Priebe, Karl J.  Search this
Canaday, John Edwin  Search this
Luce, Claire  Search this
Ford, Henry  Search this
Hitchcock, Alfred  Search this
Garbo, Greta  Search this
Cafritz, Gwendolyn  Search this
de Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Cafritz, Morris  Search this
Luce, Henry  Search this
Austin, Darrel  Search this
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Pierre Matisse Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Fujikawa Gallery  Search this
Galerie Maeght  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Illustrated letters  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Drawings  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6120
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216333
AAA_collcode_perlgall
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216333
Additional Online Media:

Perls Galleries records

Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Fujikawa Gallery  Search this
Galerie Maeght  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Pierre Matisse Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Austin, Darrel, 1907-  Search this
Cafritz, Gwendolyn  Search this
Cafritz, Morris, 1886?-1964  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canaday, John, 1907-1985  Search this
De Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine, 1892-1967  Search this
Ford, Henry, 1917-1987  Search this
Garbo, Greta, 1905-1990  Search this
Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-  Search this
Luce, Claire  Search this
Luce, Henry, III, 1925-2005  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Perls, Klaus  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Priebe, Karl J., 1914-1976  Search this
Streisand, Barbra  Search this
Extent:
79.6 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Illustrated letters
Drawings
Photographs
Date:
1937-1997
Summary:
The records of the Perls Galleries measure 79.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1997. Founded by Klaus Perls in 1937 and operating until 1997, the gallery dealt primarily in modern French art and the artwork of Alexander Calder. Found within the records are extensive correspondence (circa 44 linear feet) with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and collectors; photographs and negatives of inventory and other artwork; exhibition files, scattered financial records; and exhibition catalogs and clippings.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Perls Galleries measure 79.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1997. Founded by Klaus Perls in 1937 and operating until 1997, the gallery dealt primarily in modern French art and the artwork of Alexander Calder. Found within the records are extensive correspondence (circa 44 linear feet) with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and collectors; photographs and negatives of inventory and other artwork; exhibition files, scattered financial records; and exhibition catalogs and clippings.

Correspondence primarily discusses sales (and includes invoices), loans, and exhibitions, as well as more routine activities such as gallery maintenance, the printing of exhibition catalogs and letterhead, and the shipment, framing, or restoration of artwork. Many letters enclose photographs, negatives, or slides of artwork, and clippings. A few letters contain oversize architectural or engineering drawings, and a small handful of letters are illustrated.

Correspondents include artists such as Darrell Austin, Joan Mir, Pablo Picasso, and Karl Priebe; galleries such as the Corcoran Gallery, Fujikawa Galleries, Galerie Maeght, and the Pierre Matisse Gallery; museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art; collectors such as Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz, Adelaide de Mnil, Valentine Dudensing, and Henry Ford, II; and celebrity clients such as Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry and Clare Booth Luce, and Barbra Streisand.

The records contain nearly thirty-two linear feet of photographs and negatives. Photographs are of artists and the inventory of the gallery's artwork. Additional photographs represent artwork either by artists not represented by the gallery or not included in the gallery's inventory. Most of the photographs are black and white. Over fifteen linear feet of negatives are of gallery stock. Photographs are also found in the exhibition files.

There is a relatively small amount of records relating to exhibitions, loans, and sales. Found are exhibition lists, schedules, invitations and announcements, photographs of exhibition installations, press releases, and records of loans to other institutions and galleries. Sales records include artist lists, inventory lists, invoices, pick up and delivery receipts, and price lists.

Printed materials include a large number of clippings and an incomplete run of catalogs from Perls Galleries exhibitions between 1939 and 1980.

The collection also includes ten original pencil drawings from John Canaday's series entitled My Beautiful Girls and a reproduction of eight drawings from the same series
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1937-1995 (Boxes 1-44, OV 81-83; 43.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Negatives, circa 1937-1995 (Boxes 44-59; 15.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1937-1995 (Boxes 60-75, OV 84; 16.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibition, Loan, and Sales Records, 1937-1995 (Boxes 76-78; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Clippings Files, 1943-1989 (Box 78; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Exhibition Catalogs, 1939-1980 (Boxes 78-79; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Drawings by John Canaday, circa 1967-1972 (Box 80; 0.3 linear feet)
Historical Note:
Klaus Perls (b. 1912, d. 2008) formally opened Perls Galleries in New York in 1937, and ran it with his wife Amelia until its closing in 1997. The gallery dealt in contemporary French artists of the School of Paris, such as Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, but also acted as the primary representative of Alexander Calder beginning in 1954. In the 1970s Mr. Perls developed an interest in art from Benin and built an important collection of African sculpture, some of which was later donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Amelia Perls died in 2002, and Klaus Perls died in 2008.

Klaus Perls was born in 1912 in Berlin in a house Mies van der Rohe designed for his parents, who owned an art gallery specializing in Impressionists, post-Impressionists, Old Master paintings, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and African sculpture. Perls studied Art History in Hamburg and Munich but completed his PhD in Basel, Switzerland in 1933 after the Nazi government stopped awarding degrees to Jews. His dissertation covered the complete works of 15th-century French painter Jean Fouquet.

Before moving to New York in 1935, Perls worked for his mother, Kaethe Perls, in her Paris gallery that she opened in 1932 after splitting up with Klaus' father Hugo. He spent his first two years in New York selling paintings through other art dealers, primarily paintings shipped or recommended to him by his mother from Paris that were not selling well in the Depression-era French art market. These were primarily the work of Maurice Utrillo, Marie Laurencin, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. In 1937 he formally established his own gallery, the Perls Galleries, on East 58th Street and continued to specialize in French and European contemporary art. Around the same time, his older brother Frank opened a gallery in Beverly Hills, California.

Klaus Perls was familiar with other New York dealers specializing in modern European art such as Valentine Dudensing and Pierre Matisse, but he tried to distinguish himself by catering to young collectors. When the war restricted the international art trade and his mother was forced to flee France during the Occupation, Perls began dealing in contemporary American artists such as Darrel Austin and Karl Priebe.

Perls married Amelia Blumenthal, fondly known as "Dolly," in 1940, and she became his business partner.

After the war, the international art market exploded, and the Perls made frequent buying trips to Europe. The Perls Galleries continued to sell primarily contemporary French art and gained an early reputation as a staunch defender of modern art by European artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Braque, Lger, Soutine and Pascin. Perls prepared catalogues raisonns on Soutine and Pascin.

Klaus Perls was one of the founding members of the Art Dealer's Association, whose initial mission was to clean up the reputation of the art market following a series scandals involving fake antiquities that flourished in the 1960's. Perls was the Association's second president, after Pierre Matisse.

In 1954 Perls Galleries moved to 1016 Madison Avenue, a building that served as both gallery and home for the Perls. The same year Perls became Alexander Calder's dealer after the death of Calder's previous dealer, Curt Valentin. Perls explained his inclusion of Calder, a rare American among his stable of European artists, by saying that Calder's roots lay in France and that Calder bridged Europe and America the way Perls felt he did himself. In 1970, Calder designed the terrazzo sidewalk in front of the gallery and often resided in the Perls' home during long visits to New York City. Perls Galleries later handled Calder's estate and functioned as a quasi-archives of Calder's works, holding more than 7,000 negatives depicting Calder's art and preparing a Calder catalogue raisonn.

Klaus was named as a third-party defendant in the 1969 World War II looted art case Menzel v. List. When Erna Menzel sued Albert List for ownership of a Chagall painting confiscated from Menzel by the Nazis, List in turn sued Perls, who had sold him the painting in 1955, having purchased it himself from a Paris art dealer. The court awarded the Chagall painting to Menzel and ordered Perls to pay List the appreciated value of the painting.

Perls began building an important collection of African artwork and fell in love with art from Benin in the 1970's. In 1991 he donated more than 150 pieces of royal art from Benin to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Perls closed their gallery in 1997; Amelia Perls died in 2002, and Klaus Perls died in 2008.
Related Material:
Among the resources relating to the Perls Galleries in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Klaus Perls done by Mona Hadler on January 19, 1993.
Provenance:
The records were donated in 1997 by Douglas Mayhew, associate and legal representive of Klaus G. and Amelia B. Perls.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Perls Galleries records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Drawings
Photographs
Citation:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.perlgall
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-perlgall
Additional Online Media:

Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974

Creator:
Jacques Seligmann & Co.  Search this
Subject:
Waegen, Rolf Hans  Search this
Glaenzer, Eugene  Search this
de Hauke, César  Search this
Seligmann, Jacques  Search this
Seligmann, René  Search this
Parker, Theresa D.  Search this
Mackay, Clarence Hungerford  Search this
Liechtenstein, House of  Search this
Schiff, Mortimer L.  Search this
Haardt, Georges  Search this
La Fresnaye, Roger de  Search this
Seligman, Germain  Search this
Arenberg  Search this
Seligmann, Arnold  Search this
Trevor, Clyfford  Search this
MM. Jacques Seligmann & fils  Search this
Eugene Glaenzer & Co  Search this
Gersel  Search this
Germain Seligmann & Co  Search this
De Hauke & Co., Inc  Search this
Topic:
Art  Search this
Gallery records  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Art, European  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Art treasures in war  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art, Renaissance  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9936
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212486
AAA_collcode_jacqself
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212486
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  • View Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974 digital asset number 9
  • View Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974 digital asset number 10
Additional Online Media:

Alexander Calder

Photographer:
Gotfryd, Bernard  Search this
Subject:
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Perls Galleries  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1970 Oct. 29
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10793
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10793

Klaus Perls, Raoul Dufy, and Marcelle Berr de Turique

Subject:
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Perls Galleries  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1950 Nov. 16
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10782
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10782
Additional Online Media:

Marc Chagall and Klaus Perls

Subject:
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Perls Galleries  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1965 Apr. 9
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10784
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10784
Additional Online Media:

Dina Vierny and Klaus Perls

Subject:
Maillol, Aristide  Search this
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Perls Galleries  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1970
Topic:
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10787
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10787
Additional Online Media:

Darrel Austin and Klaus Perls

Subject:
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Perls Galleries  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1982
Topic:
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10789
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10789
Additional Online Media:

Joseph Glasco

Subject:
Glasco, Joseph  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1950
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16933
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16933
Additional Online Media:

Joseph Glasco

Subject:
Glasco, Joseph  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
circa 1949
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16934
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16934
Additional Online Media:

Alexander Calder stabile, Perls #3931

Type:
Photographs
Date:
circa 1950
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19259
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19259

Karl Priebe, Evansville, WI postcard to Klaus Perls, New York, N.Y.

Creator:
Priebe, Karl, 1914-1976  Search this
Perls, Klaus G., 1912-2008  Search this
Subject:
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1950 May 25
Topic:
Animals  Search this
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10797
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10797
Additional Online Media:

Telegram from Phyllis Lambert to Klaus Perls confirming the purchase of Picasso's Le tricorne

Creator:
Lambert, Phyllis, 1927-  Search this
Perls, Klaus G., 1912-2008  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1957 Jul. 12
Topic:
Art market  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)12829
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_12829
Additional Online Media:

Frank Perls Gallery, Los Angeles

Collection Creator:
Downtown Gallery  Search this
Container:
Reel 5654 (Sol 118), Frame 749-752
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Downtown Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Prior to publishing information regarding sales transactions, researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from both artist and purchaser involved. If it cannot be established after a reasonable search whether an artist or purchaser is living, it can be assumed that the information may be published sixty years after the date of sale.
Collection Citation:
Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Downtown Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downgall-ref2133

Installation view of an Alexander Calder exhibition at the Frank Perls Gallery

Photographer:
Rosener, Ann, 1914-2012  Search this
Subject:
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1953
Topic:
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15352
See more items in:
Alexander Calder papers, 1926-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15352
Additional Online Media:

Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records

Creator:
Perls, Frank  Search this
Names:
Curt Valentin Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
M. Knoedler and Co.  Search this
Amato, Sam, 1924-  Search this
Brice, William, 1921-  Search this
Chuey, Robert  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954  Search this
McGarrell, James, 1930-  Search this
Peake, Channing, 1910-  Search this
Perls, Klaus  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Strombotne, James  Search this
Warsaw, Howard  Search this
Extent:
23.8 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Short stories
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sales records
Gallery records
Date:
circa 1920-1983
bulk 1949-1975
Summary:
The Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records measure 23.8 linear feet and date from 1920-1983, with the bulk dating from 1949-1975. Personal papers include writings, military records, appointment calendars, and photographs. Gallery records date from its opening in 1939 until its closure in 1981 and consist of financial, sales, and legal records; exhibition files; exhibition catalogs and announcements; subject files that contain a variety of correspondence with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and friends and family, as well as reference materials and photographs; and scrapbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records measure 23.8 linear feet and date from 1920-1983, with the bulk dating from 1949-1975. Personal papers include writings, military records, appointment calendars, and photographs. Gallery records date from its opening in 1939 until its closure in 1981 and consist of financial, sales, and legal records; exhibition files; exhibition catalogs and announcements; subject files that contain a variety of correspondence with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and friends and family, as well as reference materials and photographs; and scrapbooks.

Personal papers contain biographical materials, including military records from Perls' service in the army during World War II, personal photographs, documentation on his estate settlement, and numerous short stories. Of particular interest are Perl's stories about his interactions with Pablo Picasso and his work to uncover fraud, fakes, and corruption in the art world. There are also many photographs of Picasso, photographs of family, the war, and Perls, including two original photographs of Perls by Man Ray.

Gallery sales, purchases, consignments, insurance appraisals, loans, provenance research, and general business expenses are well documented in the General Business and Financial Records. Perls jointly owned artwork with several galleries in New York, including the Curt Valentine Gallery and M. Knoedler Gallery, and these consignment and joint sales are documented in the invoices. A complete accounting of the Gallery's income and expense reports from 1950-1971 is also be found in this series. Artists extensively documented through financial transactions are William Brice, James Strombotne, and Howard Warsaw.

Extensive exhibition files document the gallery's exhibitions and Perl's curatorial work. Files contain varied documentation, such as photographs, catalogs, announcements, and publicity for Frank Perls Gallery shows from 1939 through 1971. Artists represented in this series include Sam Amato, Robert Chuey, Jaques Lipchitz, Pablo Picasso, James McGarrell, and James Strombotne. Files are also found for the two major retrospective exhibitions Perls organized and curated, Matisse Retrospective at University of California, Los Angeles and Sixty Years of Picasso Prints at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, both in 1966. Additional information about these exhibitions is also found in the Subject Files.

Subject Files are extensive and varied in name, content, and topic. They consist mostly of correspondence with friends, family, colleagues, artists, critics, galleries and dealers, clients, arts organizations and associations, publications, and others. There are also reference files and exhibition files for exhibitions held at other galleries and museums in which Perls was interested, guest curated, or loaned artwork. The contents of each file unit varies, but many include correspondence, photographs, appraisal records, sales records, invoices, reports, and membership records. The files highlight his close personal relationship with many artists, including William Brice, Rico Lebrun, James McGarrell, Channing Peake, Pablo Picasso, and James Strombotne. Subject Files also contain abundant correspondence with colleagues and family members, including his brother Klaus, who owned and operated the Perls Gallery in New York. Many of the files concern Perl's work with art documentation and authentication. Subject Files have been arranged according to Frank Perls original order.

Finally, scrapbooks contain newspaper articles, catalogs, and announcements about exhibitions at the Perls Gallery in New York during the late 1930s and the Frank Perls Gallery in Los Angeles during the 1950s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Series 1: Frank Perls papers, circa 1920-1981 (Box 1-2, 28; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 2: General Financial and Business Records, 1949-1975 (Box 2-4, 23-27; 3.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1937-1975 (Box 5-6; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Subject Files, circa 1939-1983 (Box 6-22; 16.5 linear feet)

Series 5. Scrapbooks, 1937-1957 (Box 28; 0.3 linear feet)
Historical Note:
Frank Perls (1910-1975) was founder and sole owner of the Frank Perls Gallery in Beverly Hills, California.

Frank Perls was born in Germany on October 23, 1910. His parents, Hugo and Kaethe Perls, owned one of the leading art galleries in Berlin, and sold the work of many well-known artists. Artists works included in the gallery inventory were pieces by Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cézanne, among others. His parents enjoyed a close friendship with Picasso, a relationship Perls maintained until Picasso's death in 1973. After his parents divorce in 1931, his mother left Germany and eventually opened the Galerie Kaethe in Paris.Frank Perls studied art history at the Universities of Munich, Berlin, and Frankfurt and joined his mother at the Galerie Kaethe in 1932.

Frank Perls immigrated to the United States in 1937 and partnered with his brother, Klaus Perls, to open the Perls Galleries in New York. Two years later he moved to California and opened the Frank Perls Gallery on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. During those first years, the Gallery hosted exhibitions by Man Ray, Eugene Berman, and John Decker.

Perls closed his gallery in 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Army. Because he was fluent in both French and German, Perls served as an interpreter at the Military Intelligence Service, European Theater of Operations. He landed in Normandy with the 30th Infantry Division and was awarded the Bronze Star in 1944. In 1945, Perls was assigned to the Arts and Monuments Section of Allied Military Government in Germany. He was honorably discharged in September, 1945.

After the war, Perls returned to Los Angeles and managed the recently opened Associated American Artists Gallery in Beverly Hills. The gallery was organized in 1934 and marketed art to the middle classes with the opportunity to purchase prints at affordable prices. Perls made significant contacts during his tenure at the gallery and eventually opened his own Beverly Hills gallery in 1950.

The Frank Perls Gallery on Camden Drive was closely associated with the Pierre Matisse Gallery and the Curt Valentin Gallery in New York, both major sources of exhibition materials for the early years. Perls introduced southern California to artists he believed represented the best modern art of America and Europe - Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, Georgia O'Keeffe, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, and Jean Dubuffet. Between 1950 to 1954, Frank Perls Gallery organized the first West coast exhibitions of Joan Miro, Marino Marini, and Alberto Giacometti. Perls also gave exhibitions to newly emerging artists of Southern California artists, including William Brice, Robert Chuey, Rico Lebrun, James McGarrell, Channing Peake, and Howard Warsaw.

Perls moved his gallery to Wilshire Boulevard in 1965 and stopped representing California artists at that time to focus primarily on major exhibitions of Henri Matisse and Picasso. In 1966, he helped organize an extensive traveling Henri Matisse exhibition at UCLA called Matisse Retrospective. Perls worked with Matisse's children, Pierre, Jean, and Marguerite Duthuit, to identify 345 prints and sculptures and attach family inventory numbers to them.

Frank Perls also organized several large Picasso exhibitions, including the Bonne Fete Monsieur Picasso exhibit at UCLA in 1961 and the 45 Selected Picasso Graphics exhibition at Frank Perls Gallery in 1971. For his work in preparing these major exhibitions in California of Matisse and Picasso, Perls was made a life fellow of the Los Angeles County Museum.

Perls was a member of the Art Dealers of America, serving for several years on the Board of Directors and as director. He was also dedicated to exposing art fakes and forgeries, earning a reputation for discovering, exposing, and pursuing disreputable art appraisers and dealers. Perls wrote extensively about modern art and artists, as well as his experiences in short stories that often appeared in print.

Frank Perls died on February 8, 1975 from complications following open-heart surgery. The Gallery remained open until 1981 while his executor and family distributed the gallery inventory.
Provenance:
The Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records were donated by Joan Hazlitt, one of the executors of the Perls' estate, from 1976-1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Beverly Hills  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Curators -- California  Search this
Art -- Forgeries  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- Beverly Hills  Search this
Genre/Form:
Short stories
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sales records
Gallery records
Citation:
Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records, circa 1920-1983, bulk 1949-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.perlfran
See more items in:
Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-perlfran
Additional Online Media:

Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records, circa 1920-1983, bulk, 1949-1975

Creator:
Perls, Frank, 1910-1975  Search this
Subject:
Amato, Sam  Search this
McGarrell, James  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques  Search this
Matisse, Henri  Search this
Chuey, Robert  Search this
Ray, Man  Search this
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Warsaw, Howard  Search this
Strombotne, James  Search this
Peake, Channing  Search this
Lebrun, Rico  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Brice, William  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Curt Valentin Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Frank Perls Gallery (Beverly Hills, Calif.)  Search this
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Curators  Search this
Sales records  Search this
Short stories  Search this
Gallery records  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Art  Search this
Scrapbooks  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9601
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211805
AAA_collcode_perlfran
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211805
Additional Online Media:

The school of New York

Creator:
Motherwell, Robert Burns, 1915-1991  Search this
Frank Perls Gallery  Search this
Type:
Printed Materials
Date:
1951
Topic:
New York school of art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)17837
See more items in:
Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records, circa 1920-1983, bulk, 1949-1975
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_17837
Additional Online Media:

Frank Perls

Photographer:
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Subject:
Perls, Frank  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1941
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11714
See more items in:
Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records, circa 1920-1983, bulk, 1949-1975
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11714

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