Darcy Tell is editor of the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art Journal and author of the award-winning book Times Square Spectacular (2008), a visual history of Times Square.
A Tale of Two Art Dealers by Darcy Tell
In the late fifties, the outlines of the Los Angeles art world were narrow by anybody’s standard. Unlike many regional cities of equivalent wealth, the city still lacked an independent encyclopedic museum. Contemporary art was mistrusted. The public ignored it, and conservatives—most vocally, government officials and figurative or “Sunday” painters—demonized it. Even so, an art market existed but just barely.
The Art Lover: Galka Scheyer’s Higher Calling by Darcy Tell
In 1920s Germany, Galka Scheyer began championing recent painting by artists she dubbed The Blue Four: Alexej Jawlensky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, and Wassily Kandinsky. A decade later, Scheyer was settled in Los Angeles, a Weimar Auntie Mame tirelessly promoting modern art and its capacity to alter lives and transform attitudes. Her collection, the first important collection of German modernism in Southern California, is now known around the world.