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Gardena High School Art Collection

1919 - 1956





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Image: Along the Arroyo Seco by William Wendt (1865 - 1946) 40 x 50 inches, oil on canvas. Class of Summer 1924.

The Collection

The Gardena High School Art Collection is widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding collections of California Impressionism in the country.  What began in 1919 as a lesson in art appreciation for the high school’s graduating senior class matured into an exceptional permanent collection, an art association, and a cherished community tradition.  The collection enriched the lives of an entire community over three decades, leaving a tangible legacy of the community’s ideals.

From 1919 to 1956 each graduating class would purchase a work of art as a parting gift to the Student Body.  “The exercise in collecting and organizing an art exhibition exposed the students and the wider community to lessons in art appreciation, as well as in good citizenship, collaboration, and debate.  The collection still ties generations of students and community members together in Gardena,” said Eiko Kamiya Moriyama, an alumna of the high school and a founding board member of the GHS Art Collection, a nonprofit organization created in 2010 to protect and preserve the collection.  “However, since the mid-1950s, the collection has been in storage and unavailable for viewing by the public in its entirety, with many of the paintings and frames in need of restoration.”

Now all of that is about to change.  Gardena High School is hoping the community of Gardena, art lovers, and alumni will answer the call, ensuring the legacy of the Gardena High School Art Collection continues into the future. 

Moriyama, along with Bruce Dalrymple and other GHS alumni and friends, founded the GHS Art Collection for the protection and preservation of the works of art owned by the Gardena High School Student Body.  They are putting a fundraising campaign in place to conserve the paintings and to underwrite an exhibition and publication featuring the collection in anticipation of its 100th Anniversary.


Beethoven by Carlo Wostry (1865 - 1943)

59 x 59 inches, oil on canvas

Class of Summer 1930

Desert Royalty by Agnes Pelton (1881 - 1961)

26 x 36 inches oil on canvas

Class of Winter 1942.

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The Cowboy by Frank Tenney Johnson (1874 - 1939)

28 x 36 inches, oil on canvas

Class of Summer 1937

On the Road to San Gabriel by Jean Mannheim (1863 - 1945)

48 x 36 inches, oil on canvas

Class of 1920

Conservation is funded by the Historical Collections Council of California.

The 100th Anniversary Project


The goal of the 100th Anniversary project is to document Gardena High School Art Collection’s extraordinary story of community collaboration and to preserve and protect the collection for future generations.  It will be a definitive study of the history and importance of the collection within a national context.  The 200-page catalogue, with reproductions of over 70 paintings and illustrations, will accompany an exhibition scheduled for March to August 2019 at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Gardena High School principal Rosie Martinez believes arts engagement and civic participation promote social tolerance and strengthen the community.  Martinez believes the history and legacy of the Gardena High School Art Collection, which is at the heart of the school’s identity, provides the basis and rationale for an expanded arts program.  She is founding a Creative Arts Academy with video production and graphic art studios that will open next year, and new art classes that will have a teaching component on the school’s own art collection.  Martinez has a dream, saying: “I want to be sure that every student leaves knowing about the collection and takes pride in their school’s rich history.“

A large part of enabling this dream to come true will be making the art collection and its extraordinary story fully available to the students and the public again in the centennial year in 2019.   According to Dalrymple, “The expenses for storage, insurance, and restoration of the paintings, and the publication of the book are daunting.   Although our fundraising is over half-way to our stretch goal of $150,000, we are still working hard to raise fund for reaching our goal.”


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Help us

preserve the legacy today!


Please click "DONATE" button below to make donation by using credit card:



or send a cheque to:

GHS Art Collection, Inc.
P. O. Box 111

Gardena, CA 90248


We accept stock donations

Please contact us for details.




*GHS Art Collection, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: #37-1591566

Image: Hills of Majesty by Hanson Puthuff (1875 - 1972), 36 x 40 inches, oil on canvas. Class of Summer 1928.

Portrait of Mr. Frank Goulet by Emil Kosa, Jr. (1903 - 1968)

38 x 32 inches oil on canvas

Class of Summer 1956



Bruce Dalrymple President

Simon K. Chiu Vice President

Craig K. Ihara Secretary

Bea Walker Treasurer

Keith Colestock

Justin E. D. Daily

Carol Ginder Kofahl

Rosie Martinez GHS Principal

Pamela Nokes Rockwell

Janet Halstead-Sinclair

Eiko Moriyama President Emeritus





Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings from the Gardena High School

Painted Light: California Impressionist Paintings from The Gardena High School/Los Angeles Unified School District Collection was the catalogue of a major assemblage of plein air paintings by many of California's greatest Impressionist painters, exhibited at the University Art Gallery of the California State University Dominguez Hills, and The Irvine Museum in 1999.

The exhibition was curated by Jean Stern, executive director of The Irvine Museum, who also wrote the catalogue essay and biographies of the artists. "These paintings are representative of one of the most remarkable and distinctive schools of regional American art," said Stern.

Cover: John Frost (1890-1937), Desert Twilight, oil on canvas, 27 x 32 inches

Paperback, 56 pages. Brand New. 12” x 9”.

ISBN-10: 0966249003

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William Frederick Foster, A. N. A.: Portrait of a Painter

Written and designed by award winning Art Historian, Phyllis Settecase Barton. Meticulously documented, lavishly illustrated, this remarkable art book enhances the timeline of American Art history by documenting Will Foster's illustrations appearing in Life, Cosmopolitan, Saturday Evening Post plus other popular American periodicals between 1906 & 1939. Includes a 221 page catalogue that records more than 820 of Foster's illustrations and recounts the artists' painting career, his awards, his models and students.

Hardcover. 471 pages. Brand New. 12” x 10.5”.

ISBN-10: 0961916109

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Clown, Says Grace, by Christian von Schneidau (1893 - 1976)

30 x 42 inches, oil on canvas

Class of Summer 1951

Conservation is funded by alumni of Classes 1950 to 1953