Gallery of California masterpieces

A new gallery aims to bring "only the finest" Early California and Modernist paintings to Laguna Beach.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Palm Desert-based Edenhurst Gallery, owned by Thom Gianetto, Don Merrill and Dan Nicodemo, recently opened a second location at 305 N. Coast Hwy., Ste F.

"This is a town where people are born from art, love art, and come for the art," Gianetto said. "There is no better location."

Adjacent to the Laguna Art Museum, the gallery specializes in the purchase and sales of Early California and American Impressionists, Modernist and early 19th century paintings, representing the work of great California plein air artists like Edgar Payne, Guy Rose, William Wendt and Maurice Braun.

"As California natives, we appreciate the land of our birth and want to celebrate its beautiful landscape, scenery and fine artists," Gianetto said. "These artists are a part of who we are, and their work means something special to us.

The 1,500-square-foot space houses mostly nature-inspired oil paintings of historic coastal California, as well as the work of other early American, Mexican and European painters like Frederico Cantu and Jules Joseph Lefebvre.

Intermixed with art pottery and antique furnishings and lightings, the gallery creates a warm and inviting showroom where art collectors who admire these Early California paintings can get a taste for how to decorate around them in their own homes.

With a vast love and knowledge of all inventory in the gallery, the owners as well as manager, Richard Blondeau, said they are eager to impart their knowledge to every customer that enters their doors.

"We pride ourselves on the quality of our inventory, each piece passing rigorous muster before it can reach our walls," Gianetto said.

They cater to both the beginning and seasoned collector, they said, with prices ranging from $1,500 and up for contemporary works by artists from the prestigious California Art Club; $5,000 and up for works by the historic painters; and masterworks at and above the $100,000 range.

Edenhurst has been a sponsor and supporter for many local museums, including LAM and The Crocker Museum. For more information or to suggest a purchase, visit

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