Laguna Festival of Fine Arts is a Laguna Beach institution. In the
early years of the event, Robert W. Wood was the star artist. Collectors
from across the United States became aware of his work at the festival,
and over the years of his participation he sold many works to festival
visitors. Wood won the first cash prize at the Festival in 1950.
letter that Robert Wood sent to a collector who had purchased one
of his paintings at the Laguna Festival. He often received a small
down payment followed by monthly payments as small as $5 or $10. Wood
usually shipped the painting before it was paid off. When asked about
this unusual practice of trusting people he had just met, he would
simply say, "I've never been wrong about anyone yet."
Larry Kronquist was a well-known Laguna Beach dealer. An eccentric character, Kronquist priced his works by Robert Wood aggressively. Kronquist sold his original gallery in the 1970s, only to reopen just a few months later. Kronquist was a photographer and painter whose own works emulated those of Robert Wood.