Dirt January 27, 2023
by Pauline O'Connor
Once a secluded valley that supplied water to nearby farms and hillside grazing for livestock, Laurel Canyon began being developed by real estate investors in the 1910s. From the get-go, the rustic enclave seemed to have a special magnetic pull for artsy types, counting renowned film stars (Clara Bow, Ramon Navarro, Marlon Brando), musicians (Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison), authors (Noel Coward), and painters (Erté) among its inhabitants at one time or another. A century later, that’s still the case, though it appears the bucolic neighborhood will soon be losing one of its current creative denizens, German artist Sophie Wahlquist.
A painter and ceramist heralded in Frieze magazine’s “10 Emerging Artists to Watch at Frieze Los Angeles” round-up this past December, Wahlquist has lived with her family in a 1930s home in the Wonderland tract since 2018. Located on a narrow cul-de-sac street, the Spanish-style residence was one of many produced in the neighborhoods of Hollywood Heights, Beachwood Canyon, and Laurel Canyon by noted designer-builder Albert Beach Crist.
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