“Winter Theme” by Paul Grimm. 

George Stern Fine Art Showcases Early Artwork of the Desert

View early paintings of the Coachella Valley at the El Paseo art gallery.

Steven Biller Arts & Entertainment

 “Winter Theme” by Paul Grimm. 

“Winter Theme” by Paul Grimm. 

In his book Our Araby: Palm Springs and the Garden of the Sun, author J. Smeaton Chase described the Coachella Valley as “a land of enchantment to the painter.” When he published the little volume in 1920, artists were only beginning to explore the desert’s strangely beautiful landscape with its unusual smoke trees, chollas, and ocotillos as well as its sandy washes, rugged mountains, ever changing sky, and incredible light.

At George Stern Fine Art, early paintings of the Coachella Valley and the surrounding Colorado and Mojave deserts give visitors a window into how the landscape looked prior to postwar development. Stern, a dealer of California paintings for almost 50 years, recently shuttered his West Hollywood gallery and opened a bright new space in the El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert.

tacquila palm springs

“Near La Quinta 1939” by John W. Hilton.


“Indian Wells White River” by Franz Bischoff.

An October visit turned up a fiery winter scene with snow-capped San Jacintos by Paul Grimm, an unexpected view of Indian Wells by Franz Bischoff, a dramatic springtime depiction of Mount San Jacinto with verbena in bloom by Carl Sammons, and a sun-kissed slice of the La Quinta area by John Hilton.