Spencer Helfen Fine Arts

9190 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 424, Beverly Hills, California 90212

About Auction House

Like the land and the people who inspired their art, California Modernists reflected the progressive, open, hard-working, and expressive spirit of the state in which they chose to live and work. It is that spirit which infuses the art selected for exhibition and sale at Spencer Helfen Fine Arts, a gallery that focuses on paintings and sculpture created by artists living in California and America at large during the modern period — generally spanning from 1910 to 1950, with a particular emphasis on California art of the 1930s.

Auction Previews & News

2 Results
  • Exhibitions
    Special Exhibition: Vintage Posters from the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939-1940 at Spencer Helfen Fine Arts

    September 22, 2020 – Ongoing We are pleased to present several rare and important vintage advertising posters for the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939-1940 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of that enchanting event. Shawl, Nyeland & Seavey, "1939 World’s Fair on San Francisco Bay," 1937 The Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 and 1940 (GGIE) was held on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. The GGIE was open from February 18, 1939 through October 29, 1939 and from May 25, 1940 through September 29, 1940. The GGIE celebrated, among other things, the completion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937. The theme of the GGIE was the "Pageant of the Pacific," focusing on the goods of nations bordering the Pacific Ocean. The GGIE's theme was physically symbolized by "The Tower of the Sun," and an 80-foot-tall statue of "Pacifica" created by California's dean of modernist sculpture, Ralph Stackpole. Pacifica was the goddess of the Pacific Ocean, representing world peace and the power of a united Pacific coast. The art exhibition included as part of the GGIE comprised artworks by virtually every then-active artist in the State of California. And, importantly, the call went out to various artists and advertising agencies for designs for posters to advertise the GGIE. What was created are stunning images featuring the newly built bridges, the statue of Pacifica, and Miguel Covarrubias’ image of the flora and fauna of the Pacific, among other designs. Simon Vanderlaan, "San Francisco World's Fair, 1939," Ca. 1939 We are most honored to offer several vintage examples of the posters created to advertise the enchanting GGIE. Gallery Hours: Our Gallery is closed to visitors during the national emergency. We are answering emails and voicemails on a regular basis. Artwork purchases are rapidly shipped by Federal Express or can be picked up curbside. 310.273.8838 Spencer Helfen Fine ArtsMailing Address:9190 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 424Beverly Hills, CA  [email protected]://helfenfinearts.com/ About Spencer Helfen Fine ArtsEstablished in 2003, Spencer Helfen Fine Arts is a gallery focusing on California and American Modern Art. In addition, the Gallery exhibits…

  • Exhibitions
    Special Exhibition: The Magical Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915

    Spencer Helfen Fine Arts is pleased to present an important historical exhibition: The Magical Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, now online. 105 years ago a Magical City was constructed inside the City of San Francisco… that Magical City was the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE). The PPIE celebrated three important milestones: (i) the opening of the Panama Canal in August of 1914. The Canal assisted shipping by shaving 8,000 miles off the voyage from New York to San Francisco and eliminated the dangerous passage through the Straits of Magellan,  Perham Wilhelm Nahl, "The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules: Official Poster for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition," 1913-1914 (ii) the 400th anniversary of Vasco Núñez de Balboa’s 1513 crossing of the Isthmus of Panama, thus being the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean, and(iii) of great importance, San Francisco’s recovery from the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. With the passage of legislation by Congress, San Francisco was designated to host the 1915 world’s exposition, with President Taft himself breaking ground there on October 14, 1911. From that point the City of San Francisco and its artisans began designing all aspects of the Exposition. A.D.M. Cooper painted allegorical scenes as possible seals for the Exposition. Perham Nahl’s Thirteenth Labor of Hercules was the image selected as the poster to advertise the Exposition as well as to serve on the cover of the daily programs. Other artists commemorated the fair with images of some of the awe-inspiring structures constructed for the Exposition, including Anna Althea Hills’s elegant rendering in oil of the Court of the Italian Building, Isabel Hunter’s depiction in pastel of the Court of Abundance and Francis Bruguière’s Tonalist photographs of the Palace of Fine Arts, itself designed by famed architect Bernard Maybeck. Perham Wilhelm Nahl was born in San Francisco in 1869, the son of artist Hugo Wilhelm Arthur Nahl (1820-1889), who was a landscape and portrait painter. Perham Nahl first studied art with his father and his uncle, Charles Christian Nahl (1818-1878), who designed the grizzly bear in the California State flag. One of Nahl’s best-known works is the official poster for the PPIE. Nahl’s painting, The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules, depicts Hercules…