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Maxwell Galleries has occupied a prominent role in the California art community since it was founded in 1940 by Frederick Maxwell.

Fred  Maxwell loved American and European 19th century and 20th century paintings and sculpture. Of special interest was the art of early California, a field that had few admirers and fewer scholars in those years. Some of the exciting artists, which his vision saw as promising were Jackson Pollack and Leon Gaspard. Sometimes art gallery’s can pass down in a family to new owners, who share and expand the original passion of the founder. Such was the case here when in 1973, Mark Hoffman and his wife Colleen, inherited Maxwell Galleries from Mr.Hoffman’s uncle, Fred Maxwell. Mark was a larger than life, gregarious man, who loved art, and the art business. No trip to San Francisco was complete without stopping by and having a drink with Mark. He loved his clients and even went out of his way to search out items for a collector on a modest budget. Great western art by Thomas Hill and Moran, Albert Bierstadt and Herman Herzog were regular guests on the gallery walls……but never seemed to stay too long.

Mark did not discriminate, he loved European 19th century genre paintings and landscapes of the French Barbizon and German realist schools.