Herbert Stothart Jr., an art history professor at Santa Monica College and the University of California at Los Angeles, died Thursday, October 6th, from complications of a stroke.

He was 75 years old.

A memorial service will be held in Solstice Canyon in the spring.

Stothart was born November 23rd, 1929, in Santa Monica.

He was the son of artist Mary Wolfe Stothart and film composer Herbert Stothart, a music pioneer who wrote the original score to the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz.

Stothart was raised in Brentwood and attended Harvard and UCLA, where he received a master’s degree in art history.

He later married Roberta Ann Bates and they built a home on Old Malibu Road in Malibu, a location he selected for its perfect surf break, said his daughter Betta Stothart.

Driven by his great passion for Italian art, he moved the family to a village in Provincia di Como in northern Italy, where he was involved in the founding of nearby Franklin College.

The family traveled extensively together, often crossing the Atlantic Ocean on “banana boats” and other nontraditional forms of transportation, Betta Stothart said.

Eventually returning to Southern California, Stothart taught art history at Santa Monica City College — now known as Santa Monica College — and UCLA.

Stothart was known for inviting students and friends on daylong field trips to his mountaintop property in Solstice Canyon.

He was also known for passionate discussions and lectures about ancient art and architecture, Greek tragedies, opera, ethics, gardening, sculpture, and nature, Betta Stothart said.

He was a supporter of The Film Music Society and its efforts in film music preservation.

Determined to uphold his father’s musical legacy, Stothart maintained many of the senior Stothart’s music manuscripts and papers.

The Herbert Stothart Collection is currently being catalogued for UCLA Music Special Collections and will include rare information about Broadway and Hollywood history.

Stothart is survived by his four daughters Lisa, Camille, Anna Lucia, and Betta; his sister Constance Stothart Bongi; and Roberta Bates Stothart.

Share