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Challis Galleries records

Creator:
Challis Galleries (Laguna Beach, Calif.)  Search this
Names:
Adele Bednarz Galleries  Search this
Laguna Art Museum (Laguna Beach, Calif.)  Search this
Laguna Beach. City Council (Calif.)  Search this
Bongart, Sergei, 1918-1985  Search this
Bradbury, Bennett  Search this
Brandt, Rex, 1914-2000  Search this
Challis, Richard  Search this
Dan, Virginia  Search this
DiBert, Paul  Search this
Dike, Phil, 1906-1990  Search this
Farron, Paul  Search this
Franks, Leon  Search this
Kuntz, Roger, 1926-1975  Search this
Marlette, Lacy  Search this
O'Hara, Frank, 1926-1966  Search this
Pillin, Polia  Search this
Proctor, Burt  Search this
Extent:
2.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1950-1994
Summary:
The records of Challis Galleries located in Laguna Beach, California, measure 2.2 linear feet and date from 1950 to 1994. The bulk of the records consist of artists' files and sales ledgers. Also included are a few administrative files and business correspondence.
Scope and Contents:
The records of Challis Galleries located in Laguna Beach, California, measure 2.2 linear feet and date from 1950 to 1994. The bulk of the records consist of artists' files and sales ledgers. Also included are a few administrative files and business correspondence.

Administrative files include Challis Galleries brochures, materials related to exhibitions and events; one folder on Adele Bednarz Galleries, which Richard Challis ran for two years; and one folder of miscellaneous printed material.

Business correspondence is from art world colleague Paul Farron, accountant Lacy Marlette, Laguna Beach City Council, and Laguna Beach Museum of Art on matters relating to operating Challis Galleries.

Artists' files include a range of materials on artists represented by Challis Galleries such as biographical outlines, photographs, printed material and price lists. Notable artists include Bennett Bradbury, Sergei Bongart, Rex Brandt, Virginia Dan, Paul Di Bert, Phil Dike, Leon Franks, Roger Kuntz, Eliot O'Hara, Polia Pillin and Burt Proctor, among others.

There are 16 ledgers that record the sales of artwork at Challis Galleries.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as four series.

Series 1: Administrative Files, 1965-1989 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 2: Business Correspondence, 1951-1983 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Artists' Files, 1950-1994 (Boxes 1-2; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Sales Ledgers, 1958-1984 (Boxes 2-3; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Challis Galleries (1950-1984) was an art gallery in Laguna Beach, California, that featured the work of local and regional artists.

Richard Challis was born in London, England in 1920 and moved to Laguna Beach, California in 1946. Roughly three years after arriving in California, he purchased a building at 1390 South Coast Highway which became Laguna Studio Gallery, later renamed as Challis Galleries in 1966. The gallery officially opened its doors in 1950.

Challis Galleries showcased the work of California watercolorists and regional artists. Among the artists represented are Bennett Bradbury, Sergei Bongart, Rex Brandt, Virginia Dan, Paul Di Bert, Phil Dike, Leon Franks, Roger Kuntz, Eliot O'Hara, Polia Pillin, Burt Proctor, and many others. The gallery held regular exhibitions with Richard Challis as its director until his retirement in 1984. Shortly thereafter the gallery was sold to Esther Wells and became known as the Esther Wells Collection.
Provenance:
The Challis Galleries records were donated to the Archives of American Art by gallery owner Richard Challis in 1994.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Exhibitions  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- California
Citation:
Challis Galleries records, 1950-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.chalgall
See more items in:
Challis Galleries records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-chalgall

Oral history interview with Gene Crain

Interviewee:
Crain, E. Gene, 1934-  Search this
Interviewer:
Anderson, Susan  Search this
Names:
Walt Disney Productions  Search this
Brandt, Rex, 1914-2000  Search this
Dike, Phil, 1906-1990  Search this
Sheets, Millard, 1907-1989  Search this
Extent:
107 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1999 March 7-May 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Gene Crain, conducted 1999 March 7-May 22, by Susan Anderson, for the Archives of American Art, in the law offices of Gene Crain, Newport Beach, California.
Crain describes the focus of his collection of some 1000 works of art, and how it grew out of his longstanding relationships with artists Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, Rex Brandt, and others. He recalls his relationships with Sheets, Dike, and Brandt at some length, including their feelings for the land as well as their personalities and work. He discusses urban growth, disappearance of the locale and nostalgia in the context of art collecting, and his collection as an important record of a certain time and place. He discusses convenience, climate, and topography as contributing factors to the emergence of the watercolor school as well as other important influences: Pacific rim culture and Far Eastern Art and philosophy; Mexican art and culture; the film industry, especially the Disney Studios; and the federal art projects as a catalyst and support system. Crain discusses the impact of social and economic factors in Southern California during the Depression, contrasting them with harsher conditions in other parts of the country; the development of his eye an aesthetic taste and his patronage of the artists beginning in the early 1960s; the artists' critical standing in the post-World War II period and the "crowding out" of the school by other movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Pop; and the viability of the school in the post-war period, its legacy, and comments on the present market value of the art.
Biographical / Historical:
E. Gene Crain (1934- ) is a lawyer and art collector from Newport Beach, California. Full name Ernst Gene Crain. Crain's art collection includes extensive holdings of prominent artists of the California School, a West Coast watercolor movement that arose during the Depression era.
General:
Originally recorded on 8 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 38 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Depressions -- 1929 -- California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.crain99
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-crain99

Rex Brandt: artist file, [photographs]

Artist:
Brandt, Rex 1914-2000  Search this
Physical description:
1 folder
Type:
Photograph
Artist files
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Image number:
VFM VF000400
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_137238

Morning Rocky Point [art work] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Brandt, Rex 1914-2000  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1967
Image number:
JUL J0120353
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_120354

Goat Island [art work] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Brandt, Rex 1914-2000  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1964
Image number:
JUL J0120369
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_120370

Alviso [art work] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Brandt, Rex 1914-2000  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1969
Image number:
JUL J0120386
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_120387

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