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 Paul Coze-Dabija  (1903 - 1974)

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Lived/Active: Arizona/California / France      Known for: southwest history mural and sculpture-mythical birds

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Paul Coze-Dabija
from Auction House Records.
MOLLY SPOTTED ELK (Mary Alice Nelson, Nee-bur-ban «Northern Lights» son nom Penobscot)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Emigrating from France to the United States during the 1930s Depression, he settled in Phoenix, Arizona in the 1950s.  He set up an art studio and because he had been well known in France, was appointed French consul from the state of Arizona. 

Of special interest to Coze was the Native American culture, which he subsequently depicted in his murals and paintings as well as subjects of Arizona history and the mythical Phoenix bird. "His jaw-dropping mural of a Phoenix welcomed travelers at Sky Harbor International Airport's then new Terminal 2". (66)  He also did a mural of Indian and western themes for the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and another mural for the City Council chambers in Phoenix. 

Much of his work has been covered up, taken down with remodeling or lost over the years.

For the Town & Country Shopping Center at 20th Street and Camelback Road, he created a 17-foot tall bronze and stained glass Phoenix bird.  Later it was painted white, was moved and put on a new pedestal.  In 1964, he did a mural with human-size figures for the First Arizona Title building near Central Avenue and Monroe Streets, and in 1971, he completed a mural for the Phoenix Indian Medical Center and a mural for the Arizona Blue Cross Blue Shield building near Indian School Road and Third Avenue.  However, both of these murals disappeared when the buildings were razed.

For St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Coze did paintings of the Stations of the Cross.  However, in the 1980s, the Charles Keating family in Phoenix had the paintings muted to suit the decor for their daughter's wedding.  The paintings were later restored.

Because of Coze's extensive contributions, a local architect, Walt Lockley, said that he is "responsible for the look and feel of Phoenix."

Source:
Susie Steckner, "Phoenix's Renoir", Phoenix Magazine, September 2008, pp. 66-67

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in Beyrouth, Syria on July 29, 1903.  Coze studied art in Paris.  After 1942 he lived in Pasadena where he taught at the Art Institute and worked in the art department at 20th Century Fox Studios.  He died in Phoenix, AZ in December 1974. Exh:  LACMA, 1949.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
 Who's Who in American Art 1947-66; Social Security Death Index (1940-2002).
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.

Biography from Phippen Art Museum:
Note from Sue Willoughby of Prescott, Arizona, updated by Helena Howell, Collection Manager of the Phippen Museum, in July of 2006:

Paul Coze created the big red Phoenix bird rising from the ashes amid historic and modern depictions of Arizona in the mosaic tile mural at the Phoenix Airport, Terminal 2,  and was commissioned by the city of Prescott to paint a mural of the history of the area for the big Centennial; it was on loan to the Phippen Museum for many years and has returned to Prescott, where it will be on display in the new Prescott Library beginning in fall of 2006.

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