Biography of Douglas Howcroft Mazonowicz

Douglas Howcroft Mazonowicz, Jan 29, 2001

Mazonowicz,Douglas's unique life's work of accurately reproducing the art of prehistoric cultures of Europe, Africa, and North America including such famous pieces as the "Yellow" or "Chinese Horse" from Lascaux Cave in France and "Newspaper Rock" in Utah's Canyonlands.Using his highly developed silk screening technique, Mazonowicz managed to capture the color, size, textures, and feeling of these early paintings and engravings, many of which are now nearly inaccessible except to a few scientists and in some cases faded to such extent that they are difficult to see. He recognized the need to capture these images to preserve them for future generations and present them to us, the ancestors of the original artists. In the words of Carl Sagan, "In his paintings we see not only the animals which transfixed the humans of 20,000 years ago, but also the humans themselves - elegantly dressed and coiffured, tattooed and painted, clearly themselves the recipients of a long cultural tradition from their ancestors In all these pictures we recognize that our ancestors were very much like us. Their essential humanity careens down across the ages. Mazonowicz has helped to time-bind the human community." For fifteen years Mazonowicz traveled and recreated the images that were often in almost inaccessible places, tirelessly trying to beat the clock against natural deterioration and human vandalism. He was appointed a Research Associate of the Carnegie Museum in 1968, had four Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibitions, and sequentially in Spain, Yellow Springs, Ohio, Petaluma, California, and New York City, operated the only gallery of prehistoric art in the world. The exhibit includes serigraphs from the caves, rock shelters, and petroglyph sites of southwestern France, northern and eastern Spain, Algeria's Tassili Plateau in the Sahara Desert, and the southwestern United States, as well as the Etruscan tombs of Italy.More than fifty images are on display by world area, in a cave like atmosphere with recreated torch light to give the visitor a sense of discovery of the pieces and a connection to the original conditions in which the images were created.

NY TIMES Obituary dated 29 Jan 2001: Douglas Mazonowicz, Artist Who Imitated Cave Paintings, Dies at 80 Douglas Howcroft Mazonowicz, a graphic artist who helped preserve some of the world's most famous prehistoric cave paintings by recreating them on silk, died on Sunday in Riverdale, the Bronx. He was 80. Born in Swindon, in Wiltshire, England, Mr. Mazonowicz spent 15 years in France, Spain, North Africa and North America seeking prehistoric art, which he reproduced as serigraphs, or silkscreens. "The Hand of Man," a book of 35 serigraphs, accompanied an exhibit of the same name at his Gallery of Prehistoric Paintings in Manhattan in 1982. His work was also shown at the Smithsonian Institution and the American Museum of Natural History. His 1975 marriage to Susan Warms Dryfoos, a great-granddaughter of Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, ended in divorce in 1982. He is survived by a son, Nicholas Ochs Mazonowicz; two brothers, Jack Mazonowicz of Rushford, England, and Denis Mason, of Whangerie, New Zealand; and his companion, Berna Villiers.