Art Appraiser Santa Barbara
Alice Karle Art Appraiser
Fine, Modern & Decorative Art
Insurance – Trust – Donation
1 805 682-2234
Fine, Modern & Decorative Art
Alice Karle Appraiser of Fine Art, Modern Art, and Decorative Art, offers a full range of appraisal and marketing services for the Santa Barbara area.
Virtual Appraisal of Fine Art, Decorative Art, Jewelry, and Personal Property is offered by Alice Karle Appraiser Fine Art. We have always offered this service for long distance clients. As a response to COVID-19 we are expanding virtual services to all clients. Information on Virtual Appraisal is in the Menu under the Appraisal Tab.
Office hours are between 9am‑6pm, Monday through Friday, California time. We also serve the greater South Coast and Central Coast, from Montecito, Ventura, and Ojai to San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, and Morro Bay.
Alice is a Certified Appraiser for Fine Art & Decorative Art. Alice is also IRS Qualified for Estate & Charitable Donation Appraisals. As required for IRS compliance, she is accredited in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) by the Appraiser Qualification Board of the Appraisal Foundation.
We enjoy the unusual or difficult, and have relationships with specialists around the world. Our targeted research capabilities are the key to accurate identification and valuation of your important property. Visit the Gallery for examples of property we have appraised or marketed.
For over twenty years we have been dedicated to being of service to our clients by providing an ethical and professional service. We truly love what we do. We look forward to being of assistance to you. Whether your needs involve fine art wealth management, estate planning, insurance, or charitable donation, we are happy to advise you on your options and to provide the knowledge you need to make informed choices.
Fine art and the fine decorative arts are our areas of concentration. The gallery section of the website, provides an overview of the types of property we appraise. The Gallery thumbnails open an Image Gallery with links to detailed articles.
Property we appraise ranges from important fine and modern art of the 19th and 20th centuries, fine silver and jewelry, 17th century Chinese bronzes, to libraries of rare first editions.
Marketing services are also available for the sale of your fine art, and fine decorative art. Valuation for marketing is a separate service from our appraisal practice.
California in the Arts
As a Fine Art Appraiser and Decorative Art Appraiser, we evaluate or market, property from around the world. The well known artistic centers of Rome, Paris, London, and New York often take center stage. But perhaps we can take a few moments to reflect on the importance of our location in California. I must apologize in advance to all those who undoubtedly should be mentioned, but for reasons of brevity are not.
The architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, Rudolf Schindler, and Richard Neutra, all constructed important modern architecture in California. We can still visit the Greene Brother’s Gamble House in Pasadena, Rudolf Schindler’s extraordinary and innovative Kings Road House in Los Angeles, and Wright’s Hollyhock House (which Rudolf Schindler worked on). In the South Coast community the names of George Washington Smith, and his associate the architect Lutah Maria Riggs, are well known as the designers of the Casa del Herrero in Montecito, and many other important structures. There is even a home constructed by Richard Neutra here, although it is not viewable to the public.
The great ceramic artist Frederick Hurten Rhead spent an important portion of his career in California. Rhead first came to California as the director of the Arrequipa Pottery at the sanitarium in Marin County. The climate in California was a draw to people suffering from chronic illness, and sanitariums such as Arrequipa needed activities for the patients during their extended stays. Arrequipa operated from 1911-1918 during the Arts & Crafts period, and Frederick Rhead was the director from 1911-1913.
Frederick Rhead left Arrequipa and moved to Santa Barbara where he established his own private studio. Even then, Santa Barbara was a tourist destination. Guests came to stay in the grand hotels, the Arlington Hotel and the Potter Hotel. However, pottery with Frederick Rhead’s crisply impressed “Santa Barbara” mark is actually quite scarce in Santa Barbara, as he primarily marketed to the tourists who visited here. The tradition of fine art pottery in Santa Barbara is continued today by the ceramic artists James Haggerty and Linda Haggerty.
California’s natural beauty also attracted painters. William Keith, one of the charter members of the Sierra Club, was an important California landscape artist in the 19th century, and a friend of George Inness who came to California for a painting trip with William Keith in 1891. The French artist Jules Tavernier emigrated to California in 1874, and is credited as the founder of the Monterey Art Colony.
Tonalism is a style of atmospherics and filtered, often misty, light. Popular in the late 19th to early 20th century, tonalism was widely adopted by California painters. Early works by California landscape artist Granville Redmond, are in the tonalist style.
Edgar Payne, John Marshall Gamble, Guy Rose, Hanson Puthuff, and Lockwood de Forest of Santa Barbara, are other well known names among the California Impressionist artists in the early 20th century. And of course, the “Cowboy Artist” Edward Borein worked from his studio in the old De La Guerra Plaza, and lived in his Pueblo style house (now gone) on La Barranca Avenue on the Mesa of Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara School of the Arts operated from 1920-1933. The principal founder was Fernand Lundgren, along with John Marshall Gamble, Colin Campbell Cooper, Dewitt Parshall, Carl Oscar Borg, Edward Borein, and others. Anders Aldrin, a modernist artist, attended the school. Quickly establishing a reputation for excellence, the school unfortunately succumbed to financial difficulties brought on by the Depression.
The City of Santa Barbara owns an important collection of Colin Campbell Cooper works, including paintings from his famous Canyons of New York series, and a series of paintings of the structures and gardens in what is now Balboa Park in San Diego, from the Panama California Exposition of 1915.
Political turmoil in Europe between and after the two World Wars, led to a new wave of artists coming to America, who like others before them settled in California for the climate and scenery. Lionel Feininger, the important German Expressionist, briefly taught at Mills College in Oakland in 1938, before returning to New York. Man Ray, artist and photographer, lived in Los Angeles from 1940-1951.
Gertrud and Otto Natzler, whose ceramics are in many museum collections, emigrated to California in 1938, and in turn were mentors to artist and potter Beatrice Wood of Ojai. The important team of modernist designers, Charles and Ray Eames worked in Los Angeles. Ray Eames had been a student of Hans Hoffmann.
Photography as an artistic medium is strongly associated with California, from Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Edward Weston, to the architectural photographer Julius Shulman whose iconic 1960 photograph of the Stahl House designed by Pierre Koenig, has come to epitomize mid-century modernism.
A new generation of artists took root in the 1950s to 1970s. For example, Sam Francis, John Altoon, and Ed Ruscha in Los Angeles. In the Bay area, David Park and Elmer Bishchoff were abstract figurative artists.
Richard Diebenkorn also worked in Northern California, later moving to Santa Monica where he painted his Ocean Park series. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, featured over sixty of Diebenkorn’s works in the 2017 exhibition: Matisse/Diebenkorn.
Following are a few Favorites
From lesser known Museums
Located in the Pascual Botiller Adobe built in 1843 at 1023 Bath Street in the City of Santa Barbara. This historic landmark is the only surviving two-story adobe in the city. Open from 10-4pm Tuesday-Saturday. Contains an extensive collection of Mexican folk art.
Mullin Automotive Museum
Not just for car buffs. The Mullin focuses on the great French Auto makers of the 1920s and 1930s, particularly Bugatti. These are true works of art. There is also a collection of rare Bugatti furniture and the glass of René Lalique. All in an Art Deco themed building. Open on Saturday from 10-3pm. Located at 1421 Emerson Ave., Oxnard.
Casa del Herrero
Casa del Herrero (House of the Blacksmith) was built for George Fox Steedman in 1925 by the architects George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs. A young Channing Peake did the interior decorative painting. In Montecito, on 11 acres with extensive gardens designed by Ralph Stevens, Lockwood de Forest Jr., and Francis Underhill. One of the finest Spanish Colonial Revival homes of the era, as originally furnished with Spanish decorative art of the 15th and 16th centuries. Twice weekly tours on Wednesday and Saturday from 10-2pm. Reservations required. 1387 E. Valley Road, Montecito.