Emil Kosa Jr
(1903 - 1968)
Emil Jean Kosa, Jr. was active/lived in California. Emil Kosa Jr is known for regional landscape, figure-nude and still life painting.
Emil Kosa, Jr.
Biography from the Archives of askART
The following is from Martin Wolpert, Los Angeles, California:
Biography from the Archives of askART
Jr. was born in Paris, France on November 28, 1903. His father was a
Czech artist. He moved to the United States with his family at the age
Kosa studied at the Prague Academy as a teenager and
then at the California Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1927. He
returned to Paris later in 1927, and studied under Pierre Laurens at
l'École des Beaux-Arts. In 1928, he returned to Los Angeles and studied
and later taught at Chouinard and the Otis Art Institutes.
spent the last 35 years of his life working for 20th Century Fox
studios as a special effects artist. In 1963 he won an Oscar for his
work on Cleopatra. During this time Kosa, along with maintaining a
studio-home in LA, decorated churches, theatres, and private homes and
continued teaching in Laguna Beach, California.
at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1940, the Biltmore
Salon in Los Angeles in 1941. He also showed his works in many other
locals nationally including the Carnegie Institute, the Denver Museum,
and the Frye Museum. He won dozens of awards in California and
nationally from 1928-1961. He is represented in many museums across the
United States including the LACMA, the Santa Barbara Museum, the Boston
Museum of Fine Art, and the San Diego Museum.
Kosa worked in
both watercolor and oil. He painted many portraits including the
official portrait of Governor Earl Warren. He also painted landscapes,
seascapes, figures, and floral works.
The most interesting
aspect of Kosa's body of work is that he had several different styles.
He is well known and appreciated in the circle of California Plein-Air
painters and watercolorists, but he was also painted many symbolist and
modernist paintings. In these more expressive works can be seen the
influence of his studies in Prague and Paris. Many of his paintings are
moody, and somber; a stark contrast to his scenes of California
landscapes. He produced a number of abstract works as well, showing
the influence of Kupka who he had studied .
Kosa JR. died in Los Angeles on the 4th of November 1968.
Born in Paris France, Emil Kosa Jr. was a prolific and much recognized
painter of California landscapes, cityscapes, figures and florals.
Biography from CalART.com
was the son of a Czechoslovakian artist and came to the United States
in 1907. As a teenager, he returned to Europe to study at the Academy
of Fine Arts in Prague and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In the
late 1920s, he settled a home and studio in Los Angeles and studied and
taught at the Otis and Chouinard Art Institutes.
In the 1930s,
he began a thirty-five year career as a special effects artist for
Twentieth Century Fox studios, and in 1964, won an Oscar for the movie, Cleopatra. He
continually remained active as a watercolor painter, helping create the
"California Style", devoted to watercolor painting of regional subjects. He was also very active in the Laguna Beach art
community as a teacher.
He was an elected member of the National
Academy of Design.
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
EMIL KOSA JR.(1903-1968)... Born: Paris, France
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Studied: Academy of Fine Arts (Prague), Ecole des Beaux Arts (Paris), Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles)
Member: National Academy of Design, American Watercolor Society~
California Water Color Society, Philadelphia Water Color Club, New York
Water Color Club.
Emil Kosa, Jr. received art instruction and music lessons at a very
early age. When he was in his late teens, he had to decide between
being a professional musician or artist. He chose art, but his family
and instructors believed he could have been a famous musician had he
chosen that occupation.
In the 1920s, he moved to California, but returned to France several
times to continue his art education. He received traditional painting
instruction from Pierre Laurens and studied non-objective painting with
Frank Kupka. After settling in California in 1928, he worked as a mural
artist and operated a business with his father that produced decorative
art for churches and auditoriums. When that line of work was Slow, he
took on portrait commissions and sold fine art paintings through local
In the early 1930s, Kosa became friends with Millard Sheets and with
Sheet's encouragement, began aggressively pursuing a national
reputation as a California watercolor artist. He sent up to sixty
watercolors every year to museum shows all over America and was among
the first California Style watercolorist whose work brought attention
to the West Coast watercolor style. He was an active member of the
California Water Color Society and served as president in 1945. Kosa
was one of the first of the California watercolorists to be accepted
into annual shows in New York City at the National Academy of Design
and in the American Watercolor Society shows.
To financially support his family, Kosa worked as a scenic artist in
the special effects division at Twentieth Century-Fox Studios for
thirty-five years. He produced art for matt shots and was known as a
top artist in this field. The motion picture industry acknowledged his
contributions and awarded him an Oscar for his special effects work for
A compulsive painter, Kosa would often paint for three or four hours
after dinner each night and spend most of his weekends outdoors,
painting with watercolors or oils. Alexander Cowie was his Los Angeles
agent and the Macbeth Gallery sold his work in New York City. The Cowie
Gallery, located in the Biltmore Hotel, had several one-man shows every
year and included his work in all of their group showings.
Through his studio connections, he also produced a large number of
commissioned portraits for movie stars, businessmen and politicians. In
the 1950s, he was known as the premier portrait painter in Southern
California. His official portrait of Earl Warren from this era, is in
the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Kosa is best known for his representational watercolors and oils, but
also won awards for pencil drawings and pastels depicting figurative
subjects and prints. During the 1940s and through the mid-1960s, he
occasionally revisited his interest in non-objective art and produced a
body of work which expresses his love for music and experimental art
Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, California Watercolors 1850-1970 whose information was based on interviews with Elizabeth Kosa, George Gibson, and Marian Kosa Saund, 1988.
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