Mosaic historian and artist, Lillian Sizemore, has spent years tracing the American mosaic movement to support preservation awareness, historic importance and cultural value of mosaic works world-wide. Through Ms. Sizemore’s research, she uncovered the film that had been dormant for nearly 60 years. “THE WORLD OF MOSAIC” is a 1956 educational documentary originally made as a 16mm full color film. Nearly three years in the making, THE WORLD OF MOSAIC, explores the global interest in mosaic and its cultural potential and importance. Producer Ernest D. Rose and director N. H. Cominos, in cooperation with the University of California in Los Angeles, brought to the screen as the first definitive film to explore the art of mosaic through every major civilization.
Powerfully narrated by Hollywood star, Richard Widmark and interwoven with original orchestral music by Eugene Hemmer, the evolution of mosaic is shown moving from Sumerian, Greek, and Roman cultures through Byzantine and Aztec toward a renaissance in Mexico and the United States. The film runs 28 minutes and concludes with a dramatic presentation of Joseph L. Young, one of America’s most accomplished mosaic muralists, creating a cantilevered mosaic for the Los Angeles Police Facilities Building, designed by renowed architect Welton Becket FAIA.
THE WORLD OF MOSAIC underscores the growing need for art in architecture with examples of contemporary mosaics anticipating the potential for mosaic as an integrated art for our modern times. Both audiences and specialists will find this an imaginative film conceived to portray how much of man’s cultural heritage resides in THE WORLD OF MOSAIC.
Sizemore had many meetings with Dr. Rose, who has passed the film and archival materials on to her. Additional input and Interest from Dr. Joseph Young’s family and the LA Conservancy has led to increased awareness of the midcentury work featured in the film, bringing awareness to the recent closure of the Parker Center in 2012 (formerly the Los Angeles Police Facilities Bldg.) and uncertainty of the future preservation of Dr. Young’s mosaic mural.
Sizemore worked with a top Hollywood production house to undertake a state-of-the-art digital restoration from the original 16mm film to bring this classic back to life in DVD and Blu-Ray formats. In its day, the film won several cinema awards including the approval of the Ceramic Tile Institute of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.
Premier Public Viewing: Society of American Mosaic Artists 2013 Conference in Tacoma Washington on Saturday. April 13, 2:30 PM, presented by Lillian Sizemore.
Official Film Website: