Born in France in 1826 of Italian parents. Mezzara began his career as a carver of cameos. Lured by the discovery of gold in California, he immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1850s. By 1857 he had established a studio in San Francisco where he produced lifelike portrait busts of important political figures and the local nouveau riche. He was a member of the short-lived California Art Union (1865) and a director and officer of the San Francisco Art Ass'n. He served on the committee which founded the School of Design in 1874. Mezzara was active with that school as a member of the board and was in charge of procuring the plaster casts of classical sculpture which were used in the school's sculpting classes. In 1880 he returned to Franc
Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America
(Groce, George C. and David H. Wallace); American Sculpture, Donald Stover;100 Years of Calif. Sculpture; SF Morning Call, 10-21-1883 (obituary).Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
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