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Emile Norman

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Emile Norman April 22, 1918 ‒ September 24, 2009, born as Emil Nomann, was an American artist known for his sculptors, mosaics, panels, and jewelry


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Later years and death
  • 4 Legacy
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Early life

Emile Norman was born in 1918 in San Gabriel, California, located in Los Angeles County Raised on a walnut farm in the San Gabriel Valley, he exhibited artistic talent from an early age, carving his first sculpture from a riverside rock at the age of 11 which ruined his father's chisels but gained his father's respect


Norman began his professional career fashioning window displays for department store, Bullocks Wilshire, in Los Angeles, California

He later moved to New York City where he continued to fashion window displays for various department stores including Bergdorf Goodman and Bonwit Teller His displays were featured in various magazines including Vogue

During a trip to Europe, he discovered his affinity for working with plastics, especially epoxy resins, which would have a profound effect on his subsequent career Various of his plastic works were featured in a November 1944 New York Times article titled "Plastics Shown in Decorative Role"

In 1946, Norman moved to California's central coastal region known as Big Sur where he set up a home-studio

Later years and death

In 2006, PBS aired the documentary film, Emile Norman: By His Own Design, which covered much of Norman's life The documentary was directed by Will Parrinello and produced by Parrinello, Michael Tucker and wife Jill Eikenberry, actors best known for their roles on the NBC television series, LA Law The married couple were friends and neighbors of Norman having purchased land from him in Big Sur

On September 24, 2009, Emile Norman died in Monterey, California He was 91 He was survived by three sisters: Marilyn Bogart, Mabel Malone, and Edna Rhodes


The Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco, California, featuring the mosaic window and exterior stone sculptures of Emile Norman

Norman's lifetime body of work includes sculptures, mosaics, panels, jewelry, and other forms One of his most prominent works is the 40-by-46-foot mosaic window for the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco, California, which includes an assemblage of exterior stone sculptures

The mosaic work is described as follows:

Norman often used an innovative technique bringing together various unique admixtures of epoxy resin, crushed glass, plastic, and wood The created effect is not dissimilar to cloisonne or stained glass and is especially unusual when the artist would craft the layered effect over a wax form which, when later melted away, left behind a 3-dimensional sculpture


  1. ^ "Emile's Life" emilenormancom 
  2. ^ a b "TV review: Life of Big Sur artist Emile Norman" The San Francisco Chronicle June 20, 2008 
  3. ^ a b c d Nelson, Valerie J September 27, 2009 "Emile Norman dies at 91; artist created mosaic window for Masonic temple in San Francisco" The Los Angeles Times 
  4. ^ Hamlin, Jesse November 8, 2005 "It's lively and colorful, but a mural depicting history is showing its age" The San Francisco Chronicle Retrieved October 1, 2009 
  5. ^ "Indie film traces the life of an artist" The Mail Tribune of Southern Oregon, April 11, 2007, Bill Varble 
  6. ^ a b "All the pieces of Emile Norman's life as artist and gay man, together on film" The San Francisco Chronicle October 14, 2006 
  7. ^ a b Baker, Kenneth September 26, 2009 "Pioneering California artist Emile Norman dies" The San Francisco Chronicle 
  8. ^ "Emile Norman: By His Own Design" pbsorg 2006 
  9. ^ "TV documentary of Big Sur artist Emile Norman reveals a unique vision" The Monterey County Weekly October 12, 2006 
  10. ^ a b "Life of wonder: Artist Emile Norman's work has brought him around the world and back to 'magical' Big Sur" The Montgomery County Herald September 25, 2009 

External links

  • 2006 PBS documentary: Emile Norman: By His Own Design

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Emile Norman

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