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Emil Mazy

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Emil Mazy

Paintings by Emil T. Mazy on the proscenium (arch over the stage) in the Spreckels Theater Building, San Diego, California

Emil Tissot Mazy (December 27, 1865 — June 6, 1943) was a prominent California artist born in Rosée, Namur, Belgium.[1]

Perhaps the most widely viewed and referenced paintings still in existence today by Emil T. Mazy are those found on the proscenium and ceilings of the Spreckels Theater in San Diego, California, a building recognized in the National Register of Historic Places.[2][3][4] The murals, as described by the Spreckels Theater website, feature "...two angels sprinkling a horn-of-plenty and Neptune bringing San Diego the riches of the ocean."[4]

Artistic career


Emil attended school at Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium.[5] A 1905 Los Angeles Times article erroneously claimed to the contrary that Emil was a graduate of École des Beaux-Arts.[6] The same article also erroneously claimed that Emil was a Frenchman, and such an inference about his education would be plausible if he were believed to be from France. Emil was from Belgium. The WorldHeritage article: Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts indicates that these two schools are often confused and well supports this conjecture.

Art Instructor

In 1904 Emil took employment as an instructor at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design in MacArthur Park (then Westlake Park).[5][7] The school, located at 624 S Alvarado Street and overlooking Westlake Park, was originally called the Westlake Art Studios School and was both founded and managed by Mrs. Carolyn Wood.[8][9] In Edan Milton Hughes's book Artists in California under the biographical entry for Leon Mazy it states "With his brother Emil, he operated the Westlake Art Studio."[10] It is unclear whether "Westlake Art Studio" and "Westlake Art Studio Schools", though of the same location, were the same or different entities. If the same entity then the statements about Mrs. Carolyn Wood and Leon and Emil Mazy may conflict. Two months after becoming a design instructor at the school, Emil showed his interior designs at the school's Pallette Club.[11]

The Vatican

At the age of 68 the well seasoned Emil T. Mazy received accolades from Pope Pius XI in Vatican City. Emil had painted a portrait of Father P. Gratianus de Schepper of Belgium. Of note was the fact Father de Schepper paid Emil a two hour visit in Los Angeles and from that visit Emil later painted the portrait by memory.[12] While a possible inference from though not stated in the article, it is not known if this painting became or is a holding of Vatican Museums.


On April 7, 1939, Emil T. Mazy was named Chevalier by order of Leopold II


This section may be deleted once the sorting of facts for clarity no longer serves its purpose.

  • Census Year: 1900; Census Place: Bronx, New York, New York; Roll: T623_1125; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 982; Occupation: "Painter".
  • 1902-01-02: Taken from the California Birth Index, Emil's son George is born in Los Angeles.
  • 1904: LA Times Article states Emil took employment at the Westlake School of Art and Design.
  • Census Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 74, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_84; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 74; Occupation: "Artist, General".
  • 1911: American Art Directory lists Emil as an Instructor at Los Angeles School of Art and Design.
  • Census Year: 1920; Census Place: Town of Rye, Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York; Roll: T625_1278; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 164; Occupation: "Artist, Studio".
  • Census Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 132; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 13; Occupation: "Artist, Public School".

Family history

Après L'Orage, dèsert de L'Arizona, esquisse, par E.T. Mazy de Los Angeles, Calif.

Emil first arrived in the United States at the port of New York, New York on September 30, 1897. He departed from Antwerp, Belgium aboard the Red Star Line ship Noordland.[1][13] Along with him was his wife Jeanne Catherine Mazy née Verdoodt (July 8, 1868 — June 2, 1940), three daughters (Marie, Lucien, Gabriella), and one son (Frederic).[1][14][15]

Emil and Jeanne were married on April 24, 1889 in Brussels, Belgium.[16]

Emil was naturalized as a United States citizen on November 11, 1932 at the age of 66. He signed his name at that time with the spelling Emile Tissot Mazy.[17]

Emil is the son of Maximilien Joseph Mazy (November 8, 1812 — ) and Adrienne Tissot.[18][19]

Known siblings of Emil are his brother Leon Mazy (December 30, 1860 — March 20, 1938), an artist and inventor, and sister Elise Marie Joseph Mazy (May 24, 1858 — ).[19]

The Mazy family moved to Los Angeles between June 6, 1900, the 1900 US Census date, and January 2, 1902, the birth of Emil's first child in Los Angeles, George Leon Mazy (January 2, 1902 — June 13, 1992).[14][20][21]


  1. ^ a b c United States Naturalization Declaration of Intention #49708, Volume 96, page 308, Southern District of California, County of Los Angeles. Filed July 24, 1928
  2. ^ Gebhard, David (1977). A guide to architecture in Los Angeles & southern California. Santa Barbara, California: Perigrine Smith Inc. p. 441.  
  3. ^ Brooks, Vicki (1982). S. Allen Chambers, ed. Discovering historic America. New York: E.P. Dutton. p. 22.  
  4. ^ a b "Welcome to the Spreckels Theater". Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2010-08-28. The theatre's decor is in the Baroque style. Allegorical paintings by Emil Mazy of Los Angeles decorate the proscenium and ceiling. 
  5. ^ a b "School of Art and Design". Los Angeles Times. 1904-08-13. p. 10. Two new instructors will be added to the faculty. Emile Mazy, a well known miniature painter and decorative artist, will take charge of some of the classes in drawing and painting. Mr. Mazy is a graduate of the Academy Royal of Brussels, and is said to excel in his line of work. 
  6. ^ "Bullet Fired Through Pane; Weird Attempt to Commit Murder;E. Mazy's Family Attacked While at Table". Los Angeles Times. 1905-03-03. pp. II1. Emile Mazy, painter of miniatures, graduate of the Ecole des Beaux Arts, mural artist of note... "Allons!" cried the intrepid Frenchman... 
  7. ^ American Federation of Arts (1911). American Art Directory. New York: R. R. Bowker. p. 54. Retrieved 2010-08-28. Los Angeles School of Art and Design, 6th and Alvarado Sts.; Instructor - Emile Mazy; Department - Design 
  8. ^ "Mrs. Wood Will be Buried Today". Los Angeles Times. 1929-09-11. pp. B9. Funeral services for Mrs. Carolyn Wood, for many years manager of the Westlake Art Studios at 624 Alvarado street... 
  9. ^ McGroarty, John Steven (1921). Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea : with selected biography of actors and witnesses to the period of growth and achievement / John Steven McGroarty. 3. Chicago: American Historical Society. p. 839. Mrs. Wood was educated in a seminary at Gloversville, and has taught painting, modeling, dramatics, and in founding the Westlake Art Studios School... 
  10. ^  
  11. ^ "Pallette Club". Los Angeles Times. 1904-10-30. pp. E3. Emile Mazy exhibited some designs for interior decoration. 
  12. ^ "Pope Confers Favor on Local Painter". Los Angeles Times. 1934-07-03. pp. A1. Special favors from Vatican City, conferred by Pope Pius, were received here by Emil T. Mazy of 1445 Westerly Terrance[sic], veteran Los Angeles protrait[sic] painter. 
  13. ^ Noordland Ship Information
  14. ^ a b 1900 United States Census, Bronx, New York County, New York, 728 East 139th Street
  15. ^ State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997, "Jene C Mazy"
  16. ^ US Petition for Naturalization Record #57110, US District Court at Los Angeles, California, Signed November 4, 1937. "Jeanne Catherine Mazy"
  17. ^ US Naturalization Record #3639162, US District Court at Los Angeles, California, Petition #38043, Signed November 11, 1932
  18. ^ State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997, Emil T Mazy
  19. ^ a b Family Search
  20. ^ 1910 United States Census, Los Angeles (29 Precinct), Los Angeles County, California, 1445 Elza Avenue
  21. ^ Social Security Death Index, SSN: 562-12-6250, George L. Mazy

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