Lion cubs bears signature 'Arthur Wardle' (lower right) oil on canvas 30 1/4 x 40 1/4in (76.8 x 102.2cm)
Bonhams is pleased to present the following group of paintings by Arthur Wardle and David Shepherd from the Collection of Margie and Robert E. Petersen. A Los Angeles native, Robert E. Petersen served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and, early in his career, was a Hollywood press agent. It was in 1948 though that Petersen would begin his automotive-themed publishing empire with the first issue of Hot Rod Magazine. The Petersen Publishing Company roster of publications went on to include 'Motor Trend,' 'Motorcyclist,' and would branch out into other niche areas such as 'Guns and Ammo,' 'Hunting,' 'Tigerbeat' and 'Teen.' When the company was sold in 1996, it included over thirty titles with a total circulation of nearly 43 million. Robert Petersen proposed to then model Margie McNally after their first date and the couple were married in 1963. Over the course of their 44-year marriage, the couple avidly collected - from paintings to automobiles, wines, firearms and gold. Their collecting was an extension of their passion for automobiles, hunting and the outdoors. Fittingly, the Petersens also founded the Petersen Gallery in Beverly Hills, which focused on works of art from California and the American West, as well as wildlife-related art, including that of Wardle and Shepherd. The Petersens were active philanthropists, contributing to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History to create what would ultimately become the Petersen Automotive Museum. Other Los Angeles institutions that benefited from the Petersens' generous philanthropy include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Children's Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, St. John's Health Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood among others.