Collection Of Los Angeles Art Dealer And Patron Gail Feingarten Oppenheimer Comes To Auction At Bonhams

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LOS ANGELES – The five-decade amassed collection of Gail Feingarten Oppenheimer (1938-2021), former Los Angeles dealer of 19th and 20th Century European modern masters, comes to auction at Bonhams on March 9th in Los Angeles. This single-owner sale features significant works in a variety of mediums, including a collection of Pablo Picasso gold medallions and silver plates, impressionist and abstract paintings by artists such as Édouard Vuillard, Albert Gleizes, and Henri Lebasque, as well as cubist bronze sculptures from Joseph Csáky.  

Rising to prominence as a dealer during the burgeoning Los Angeles art scene in the 1960s, Gail continued to work as a dealer up until 2019. Her dedication to the arts led her to boldly open her own gallery within her split-level Westwood townhouse as a single working mother of two. The notoriety of ‘Gail’s Gallery’ emerged her as a prominent Los Angeles dealer, which eventually led to her meeting Charles Feingarten of the eponymous Feingarten Galleries. After marrying Charles, she became an integral part of Feingarten Galleries which she eventually ran for nearly 40 years following his death in 1981. In 1999, Gail took on a philanthropist role after marrying Gerald “Jerry” Oppenheimer, where their proudest achievement resulted in the founding of the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience in the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, in 2002.  

Exhibiting modern masters over the years resulted in a strong collection of works by the artists, such as Pablo Picasso (1881- 1973) and Joseph Csaky (1888-1971). From Csaky, Gail collected many of his bronze sculptures, nine of which are presented in this sale, and from Picasso, Gail gravitated towards his gold and silver works. The upcoming sale includes a group of fifteen gold medallions and four silver plates that were cast by Ateliers Hugo, the exclusive goldsmith Picasso is known to have worked with to execute his designs. Gail had a long-standing relationship with Ateliers Hugo, working with the founder’s son Pierre Hugo throughout her career as a dealer and collaborating on a 1977 exhibition of Picasso’s gold and silver works at the gallery. The Picasso collection of fifteen gold medallions is estimated at $200,000 – 300,000 and two of the silver plates are estimated at $30,000 – 50,000 and two are estimated at $35,000 – 45,000. Cones et spheres (modeled 1919, cast 1978) by Csaky is an example of one of the bronze sculptures in the sale by the Cubist sculptor and is estimated at $80,000 – 120,000.  

Kathy Wong, a Specialist in Fine Arts at Bonhams, said: “We are honored to celebrate the life and inimitable style of Gail Feingarten Oppenheimer in a single-owner sale of her collection. Gail had an adventurous spirit which led her to her greatest loves in her life and career. She became an art dealer by sheer grit and a passion for beauty, and through it she found others who shared her raison d’etre. Gail directed the Feingarten Galleries for nearly 40 years, and we are privileged to tell her story and preserve her legacy.”  

Also included in the sale are decorative objects and furniture pieces from the Oppenheimer’s Beverly Hills condominium on the Wilshire Corridor. Design highlights include three lots of four dining chairs from T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905-1976), estimated at $12,000 – 18,000 per lot; and a group of eight Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) dinner plates, estimated at $2,500 – 3,500. 

Additional sale highlights include: 

  • Madame Hessel à la Campagne à Amfréville (circa 1907) by Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940), which depicts Lucy Hessel, a Vuillard patron, muse, and lover, as well as wife of his close friend, Jos Hessel, a prominent art dealer. The work was previously in the collection of Dr. Jules Stein, founder of MCA (Music Corporation of America), and came to his stepson Gerald “Jerry” Oppenheimer by family descent. It is estimated at $100,000 – 150,000. 
  • A Cubist painting by Albert Gleizes (1881-1953), Creation (1924-1934) is estimated at $80,000 – 120,000
  • La Terrasse a Post-Impressionist painting by Albert André (1869-1954) that depicts the wife of the artist, Maleck André, dressed in white and drawing. It is estimated at $30,000 – 50,000. 

LOS ANGELES – The five-decade amassed collection of Gail Feingarten Oppenheimer (1938-2021), former Los Angeles dealer of 19th and 20th Century European modern masters, comes to auction at Bonhams on March 9th in Los Angeles. This single-owner sale features significant works in a variety of mediums, including a collection of Pablo Picasso gold medallions and silver plates, impressionist and abstract paintings by artists such as Édouard Vuillard, Albert Gleizes, and Henri Lebasque, as well as cubist bronze sculptures from Joseph Csáky.  

Rising to prominence as a dealer during the burgeoning Los Angeles art scene in the 1960s, Gail continued to work as a dealer up until 2019. Her dedication to the arts led her to boldly open her own gallery within her split-level Westwood townhouse as a single working mother of two. The notoriety of ‘Gail’s Gallery’ emerged her as a prominent Los Angeles dealer, which eventually led to her meeting Charles Feingarten of the eponymous Feingarten Galleries. After marrying Charles, she became an integral part of Feingarten Galleries which she eventually ran for nearly 40 years following his death in 1981. In 1999, Gail took on a philanthropist role after marrying Gerald “Jerry” Oppenheimer, where their proudest achievement resulted in the founding of the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience in the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, in 2002.  

Exhibiting modern masters over the years resulted in a strong collection of works by the artists, such as Pablo Picasso (1881- 1973) and Joseph Csaky (1888-1971). From Csaky, Gail collected many of his bronze sculptures, nine of which are presented in this sale, and from Picasso, Gail gravitated towards his gold and silver works. The upcoming sale includes a group of fifteen gold medallions and four silver plates that were cast by Ateliers Hugo, the exclusive goldsmith Picasso is known to have worked with to execute his designs. Gail had a long-standing relationship with Ateliers Hugo, working with the founder’s son Pierre Hugo throughout her career as a dealer and collaborating on a 1977 exhibition of Picasso’s gold and silver works at the gallery. The Picasso collection of fifteen gold medallions is estimated at $200,000 – 300,000 and two of the silver plates are estimated at $30,000 – 50,000 and two are estimated at $35,000 – 45,000. Cones et spheres (modeled 1919, cast 1978) by Csaky is an example of one of the bronze sculptures in the sale by the Cubist sculptor and is estimated at $80,000 – 120,000.  

Kathy Wong, a Specialist in Fine Arts at Bonhams, said: “We are honored to celebrate the life and inimitable style of Gail Feingarten Oppenheimer in a single-owner sale of her collection. Gail had an adventurous spirit which led her to her greatest loves in her life and career. She became an art dealer by sheer grit and a passion for beauty, and through it she found others who shared her raison d’etre. Gail directed the Feingarten Galleries for nearly 40 years, and we are privileged to tell her story and preserve her legacy.”  

Also included in the sale are decorative objects and furniture pieces from the Oppenheimer’s Beverly Hills condominium on the Wilshire Corridor. Design highlights include three lots of four dining chairs from T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905-1976), estimated at $12,000 – 18,000 per lot; and a group of eight Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) dinner plates, estimated at $2,500 – 3,500. 

Additional sale highlights include: 

  • Madame Hessel à la Campagne à Amfréville (circa 1907) by Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940), which depicts Lucy Hessel, a Vuillard patron, muse, and lover, as well as wife of his close friend, Jos Hessel, a prominent art dealer. The work was previously in the collection of Dr. Jules Stein, founder of MCA (Music Corporation of America), and came to his stepson Gerald “Jerry” Oppenheimer by family descent. It is estimated at $100,000 – 150,000. 
  • A Cubist painting by Albert Gleizes (1881-1953), Creation (1924-1934) is estimated at $80,000 – 120,000
  • La Terrasse a Post-Impressionist painting by Albert André (1869-1954) that depicts the wife of the artist, Maleck André, dressed in white and drawing. It is estimated at $30,000 – 50,000. 
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