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California Art

Pioneers in the field, Bonhams and Butterfields held the first-ever dedicated sale of early California paintings in June of 1980. For over 40 years, the department has consistently cultivated and led this market. With prices for these artworks rising exponentially year after year, Bonhams has promoted works by early California artists beyond a regional collecting category and established its place within the larger context of American art history.

Bonhams California Art department holds three sales a year in Los Angeles and online, representing 19th and 20th century artists connected to California and the West. The department has achieved its highest success with California Impressionism, realising world records for William Wendt, Joseph Kleitsch, E. Charlton Fortune, Granville Redmond, John Marshall Gamble and Jessie Arms Botke. Additionally, consistent and strong results are regularly achieved by artists such Guy Rose, Edgar Payne, Anna Hills and many others.

California Modernists are also a growing and highly sought-after category for the department, with leading results by such artists as Henrietta Shore, Agnes Pelton, Roger Kuntz and Edouard Vysekal.

Buying and selling California art at Bonhams
Bonhams California Art and Western Art departments have over 80 years of combined experience, bringing professionalism and passion toward evaluating collections. We advise private collectors, corporate and public institutions on strategies for acquisition and deaccession, and in addition, can advise on negotiating private sale transactions for major works. Our specialists travel throughout the country and are supported by an extensive global network of representatives. Contact a specialist directly to discuss your collection or submit your item online for a free auction estimate.

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Thinking of selling? Get a free auction estimate by submitting your item online or contacting your local Bonhams. With specialists based in towns and cities worldwide, we are your local auction house.

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Photo of Scot Levitt

Scot Levitt

VP/Director - Cal/West & Contemp Art

Scot M. Levitt is Vice President and Director of Fine Arts at Bonhams in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Joining Bonhams in 1984, Scot is a seasoned art world professional with four decades of experien…

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Photo of Aaron Bastian

Aaron Bastian


Aaron Bastian is a Director of Fine Arts at Bonhams San Francisco. He joined the company in 1998. His department holds three sales annually of California and Western Paintings in Los Angeles and San F…

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Photo of Katherine Halligan

Katherine Halligan


Katherine Halligan is Specialist for Western Art at Bonhams in Los Angeles. Katherine brings over 20 years of experience in historic and contemporary Western fine art sales. Before joining Bonhams, sh…

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