Spencer Jon Helfen, Director




Message from the director

It was at a relatively early age, in a home filled with art and art books, that I first discovered and learned to appreciate works of art. It therefore is no surprise that I would choose to live my life surrounded by artworks that inspire, educate, excite, comfort — by art that feeds the mind and spirit.

Initially, however, I chose a conventional life path. After earning my academic degrees, two in history from UCLA and one in law from UC Berkeley, I embarked upon a successful career as a business transactional attorney. During my career, as my collection of California Modernist art grew and my understanding of the genre expanded, my passion for art surpassed my passion for the practice of law, and one thing became apparent: I could, and should, seek to transform my avocation into a rewarding career.

And so my gallery — Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts — was born. I established the gallery to bring to the public's attention some of the greatest California artists of the Modern period — the California Modernists — many of whose outstanding reputations have become obscured by the passage of time. I have brought the Gallery's works of art to life by linking them to the artist's life history and the life and times of the people of California who so often inspired those works.

The Gallery is a place in which my guests can feel free to roam as they view artwork at their leisure, one in which they are encouraged to enjoy the viewing experience. In the same way as I enjoy some of my favorite works of art, never tiring of their mystery and magic, I hope guests in the Gallery will view the works currently on display.

Welcome to Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts!