Feingarten Galleries has been buying & selling paintings and sculptures for over 65 years. It began in 1945 in Chicago as a framing and marine painting store, founded by Joseph Feingarten. In 1945, his son Charles “Chuck” Feingarten took over the business and eventually built it into a world class art gallery specializing in 19th & 20th Century Master Sculpture. At one point in the early 1960s Feingarten Galleries could boast of four gallery locations in three great American cities, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and one (at that time) sleepy little coastal town of Carmel Beach, California. On October 10, 1960 Life Magazine wrote up “A Fast-Clip Art Trip” which described Feingarten “having four one-man shows (for Chicago artist Rainey Bennett) simultaneously in his four galleries across the U.S. After a fast opening in NYC, they raced to Chicago in time to make a quick sale and catch the next plane to San Francisco where they shook hands with socialites and then took off for Carmel.”
During the 1950s and 60s, the gallery also showed and represented such contemporary painters as Stanczak, Guereschi, Abbot Pattison, Arthur Okamura, Martyl, Rainey Bennett, Elias Friedensohn, and Jerome Kirk. But it was starting in the late-1960s and throughout the 1970s that the gallery would establish its reputation for dealing in master European sculptures of the 19th and 20th Century, eventually becoming the principal American dealer of Rodin sculptures and drawings.
During that decade as well, Feingarten Galleries had various group shows exhibiting works by Archipenko, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giaccometti, Aristide Maillol, Edgar Degas, August Renoir, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, and Antoine Bourdelle.
In 1978 and 1979 the gallery mounted two shows which, though not as illustrious in western art historical terms as those preceding it throughout that decade, nevertheless presaged the present global cultural scene in which we live today.
In one, Chuck Feingarten traveled to Zimbabwe during the civil war to bring back a large shipment of sculptures created by the Tengenenge tribe, a tribe devoted exclusively to making sculpture, under the tutelage of Tom Bloomfield, a British tobacco farmer. The following year, Chuck and Gail were the recipients of treasures from the region of New Guinean which had been collected by their friends William Holden and Stephanie Powers and were exhibited in Los Angeles with enthusiastic results from the entire art community.
During the ten years that Gail (the present owner) and Charles “Chuck” Feingarten were married – from 1970 to 1980 – their relationship was a combination of happy marriage and hard-working apprenticeship. Gail who graduated from Finch College New York City and Stanford University in history of art was a private dealer at the time of her marriage to Chuck. When Chuck died, Gail was well-prepared to carry on the business albeit with a few new touches of her own. While Gail has continued to show Rodin, Moore as well as other 20th century master sculpture, she began to deal more and more in French Impressionist painting, helping to build various private American collections here in Beverly Hills.
In 1993 the gallery closed its doors on Melrose and Gail became a private dealer. Since that time, she – now Gail F. Oppenheimer, having married Gerald Oppenheimer in 2000 – continues to deal in both master sculpture and painting, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Plein Air Painting of California, as well as selected contemporary work. The gallery is always looking for affordable, quality paintings by lesser known artists from the first 30 years of the 20th century.