Perls Galleries was established in New York in 1937 by Klaus Perls (1912-2008). He was born in Berlin, where his parents Hugo and Kaethe Perls owned an art gallery specializing in Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Old Master paintings, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and African sculpture. After separating from her husband, Kaethe Perls opened a gallery in Paris in 1932, where Klaus worked until he moved to New York in 1935. Before opening his own gallery, Perls sold paintings through other dealers, primarily stock either sent or recommended to him by his mother. After he married Amelia "Dolly" Blumenthal in 1940, she became his business partner in Perls Galleries. His older brother, Frank Perls, founded an independent gallery called the Frank Perls Gallery in Beverly Hills, California, around the same time Klaus established himself in New York.