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coze

Paul Coze

Paul Coze (1903 - 1974) was a French-American anthropologist, artist, and writer, most famous as a French authority on Native Americans, and for his public art in the 1960s.

Born in Beirut of a French engineer father and a mother with lineage from Serbian royalty, Coze grew acquainted with riding and roping as a young man. On his return to France, as a teenager he became co-founder of Scouts de France, the first French scout program. During years of art training, an increasing fascination with cowboys and Native Americans led to four museum-sponsored anthropological expeditions to western Canada (1928-1932) and a book, Moeurs et histoire des Peaux-Rouges (1928, with Rene Thévenin), still in print as a standard work. Many of Coze's hundreds of collected artifacts now reside at the Royal Alberta Museum.

Coze moved to the United States circa 1938, in Pasadena, California since 1942, spending two years producing major educational murals at Mesa Verde National Park.

Settling in Phoenix, Arizona full-time in 1951, he founded an art school and created nine major pieces of public art in the city, including large multi-media installations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Veterans Memorial Coliseum and other civic landmarks, most with Native themes.

He published seven books and numerous articles for Arizona Highways magazine, was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1954, and was French consul for Phoenix for decades.

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