EARL DAMMANN’S EXHIBITIONIST at WVRC on May 26th
MADISON GORITSAN led the Pledge. MARSHA HUNT, who has been on Leave, provided the Invocation; “Heavenly Father, we thank you for the opportunity of meeting together here today in unity, to be of service, and to take actions to help people who need a helping hand and a loving hand. Please bless all Rotary members. May we return to our homes with renewed enthusiasm and dedication to the high principles and goals of Rotary. We ask for your guidance in all undertakings. Amen”. Well done, MARSHA - thanks. PP RON LYSTER stepped forward on short notice and led us in God bless America.
There were no Visiting Rotarians, but several guests. Ron Dammann, husband of our Speaker, was with us, and PEGGY was with her helper. Sunny was of course with LENNY, and former member Sherry Dewane was present. A Special Guest was Teresa Aldave.
PDG BILL GOODWYN was at the podium, and he began by testing our Rotary knowledge. Among the things we learned was that 28 Heads of State are Rotarians. There were 49 Rotarians present when the UN was founded in San Francisco in 1944. And yes, Paul Volker, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, was a member. And for a really big number, how about TWO BILLION kids have been inoculated against Polio in our Rotary campaign. We are, indeed, a worldwide influence.
Announcements (all in the month of June!):
Saturday, June 4th is the Orientation Meeting for the new Board of Directors. It will start at 10am, at University High School, with brunch, followed by a tour of the campus, including the new YMCA. Principal Eric Davidson will be our host.
Tuesday June 7th is the New Member Orientation and Social at the Armand Hammer Museum in Westwood. Starting at 6pm, we’ll have a tour, some cocktails, then dinner - by Wolfgang Puck -
Followed by an informative discussion about the recent history of Rotary. Members are $20, and their guests are FREE! MIKE NEWMAN is in charge, so make your reservation right away, please.
Wednesday the 8th is the last meeting of this Rotary year for our Auxiliary. It will start at 11:30 at the home of SALLY BRANT, and the Speaker, Dr. Angelique Campen will discuss emergency room situations at UCLA Hospital. Cost is $5.00, and MARGIE DOWNIE is the contact.
And on Thursday the 9th, we will prepare and serve dinner to the ladies at Daybreak - JOHN HEIDT needs members to help, so call him, please.
That Saturday, June 11th, the District 5280 Annual Leadership Assembly is scheduled -all Incoming Board Members are expected to attend. And on June 25th, Saturday, the Demotion Party will be held at the Marina Del Rey Marriott - you should have the Invitation by now.
PDG BILL GOODWYN introduced our Speaker, April Dammann. She is a UCLA graduate, with a Masters from the University of Rochester, plus a degree from the Sorbonne. While at UCLA, she was a Regent Scholar, Valedictorian, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. We were assured that April would speak very slowly today, so some of us will be better able to follow her words… She is a writer, playwright, and now, an author, with the publication of her book, Exhibitionist. PDG BILL completed her bio by pointing out that the word, can’t, simply isn’t in her vocabulary.
April was assisted by an excellent color slide presentation, illustrating many of the paintings she discussed. She first showed the book itself, which is the story of Earl Stendahl, who founded the world-renowned Stendahl Gallery. She pointed out that she and her husband, Ron, first met at Hollywood High School, and have been married for 41 years. They lived in the famed Hollywood Hills. Earl Stendahl came to Los Angeles in 1909 - and he had the one really vital element needed by an Art Gallery owner, a perceptive eye. He knew what was good, and what wasn’t, and was the founder of the school of expressionist art, particularly in California.
The first painting she showed was from 1924, by Guy Roche. In 1926 this was first shown, and created a sensation in the art world. She then described the Stendahl house, where so much fine art was displayed it was considered a world icon. Stendahl bought the house in 1913. His family were cabinet makers, and he grew up in Wisconsin. He and his wife were married in 1911. As he became known for working with new artists, more and more expressionist art found its way into his hands. The Black Cat was famous as a restaurant early on, but it is hard to day to trace it accurately, today. However, there is no doubt that it was the first public repository of this new art form.
In 1921, the Stendahl Gallery opened in the arcade of the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Blvd. For several years, theirs was the only gallery there. In 1931, they moved to their own building, a three-story structure, also on Wilshire, where the Gallery still resides. Among their early displays were murals on loan from the Los Angeles Public Library. These painting were the direct result of the WPA Public Works program, which operated during the Depression. In 1932, he produced an exhibit of contemporary Mexican art, which was quite controversial at that time. During this same period, he rented out parts of the space, to provide needed income. The entire 3rd floor, for instance, was a bakery!
During this time, he also took over the house next door, and used it to display more of the expressionist art he was gathering. It was, literally, overflowing with a variety of art - quite an eyeful. There were many famous visitors, of course. She showed several paintings, and compared the various styles they depicted - some had influenced Picasso, for instance. In 1939, Stendahl was one of only two galleries in the entire United States to exhibit the latest Picasso works - such was his standing and reputation. Sometimes he actually operated more like a museum than a gallery. This caused some controversy -but actually he welcomed such turbulance.
A brief Q&A -
What does the term Pre-Columbian signify? It simply means BEFORE Columbus, and that is a significant point of division for all art. What is the most important criterion in ancient art? That is, country of origin, or what? Basically you have to go by where it came from, and when discovered.
April Dammann, we thank you for shedding some light on a subject that most of us know very little about.