Poulsen Galleries was established in the 1920's in Pasadena, California by Emmanuel and Gamelia Poulsen. Emmanuel was a European-trained artisan with master status in the family trade of gilding and elaborate, hand-crafted picture frames. Gamelia was the gallery manager, and became a skilled and knowledgeable art dealer.
In the 1980's, management passed to their son, Jim and their grandaughter, Marcia Osterkamp. Fourth generation Ellen Osterkamp, their great-grandaughter is our resident art historian, prepared with a master's degree in art history along with a lifetime of exposure to the art world.
Poulsens is very proud of its early involvement with many of the distinguished, Early California Artists. Members of the California Plein Air Art School, frequented the gallery for its hand-carved and hand-finished frames. They also exhibited their works in the gallery in Pasadena, attracting astute collectors. Many of those artists are now part of the Who's Who of California Artists from the 20's through the 40's. "We really enjoy seeing a painting such as an Edgar Payne make it's full circle back to our gallery. We will find the original customer's name on the back in my grandmother's writing detailing how my grandfather should make the frame." Landmark hotels, such as the Huntington would post a bulletin board to advertise artists in residence and the artists would move into the hotels in order to make themselves more accessible to patrons. When a visiting patron bought a painting, the artist would rush down to our shop to have Emmaneul quickly make them a frame.
Over the years the Gallery has greatly expanded its collection of European and American art. After 80 years, our familiy is pleased to still offer early and contemporary California works, along with a fine collection of 19th and 20th century American and European artists.