Biographical / Historical
Los Angeles art collectors and philanthropists Stanley and Elyse Grinstein were known for their patronage of West Coast artists for over forty years and were important catalysts of the nascent Los Angeles art scene.
Following their marriage in 1952, the Grinsteins began collecting art as way to pursue a shared hobby. Stanley Grinstein (1927-2014) was the proprietor of a forklift business and Elyse Grinstein (1929-2016) had been an elementary school teacher. The couple co-founded the print studio, Gemini G.E.L., with Rosamund and Sidney B. Felsen in 1966. Through celebrated collaborations with Josef Albers, David Hockney, Ellsworth Kelly, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, and many others, the studio quickly became the West Coast destination for innovative printmaking.
In addition to having a passion for art, Elyse Grinstein was also an architect who earned her master's degree in architecture from the University of California Los Angeles in the 1970s, graduating at the age of 50. She interned with close friend Frank O. Gehry before forming her own company, Grinstein/Daniels, Inc., with Jeffrey Daniels. Her subsequent work included remodeling David Hockney's Hollywood Hills home, remodeling areas of the CalArts campus after the 1994 earthquake, and designing the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant with partner Jeff Daniels in L.A.'s Koreatown. Elyse Grinstein was also a philanthropist who raised money relentlessly for art and medical institutions, and devoted time to political campaigns and other causes.
In 1965 the Grinsteins bought a house in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles and moved with their three daughters to the Rockingham Avenue home. In the ensuing years they hosted legendary parties and receptions for their friends in the art world, providing an environment that fostered the relationships and emerging ideas of the burgeoning West coast art scene and helped introduce Los Angeles artists to a wide network of East Coast and international artists. The couple also offered invaluable practical support, that often enabled artists to keep working, buying work they loved for their home, providing other occasional financial assistance, and offering free accommodation and a place to work for their out-of-town artist, writer, and musician friends.