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MATZEN, HERMAN N.

MATZEN, HERMAN N. (15 July 1861-22 April 1938) left a rich legacy of public sculpture in his own city of Cleveland and elsewhere. Born in Denmark, he came to America as a boy and was educated in Detroit, Mich., before returning to Europe for art studies. After graduation from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, he returned to begin teaching design and sculpture at the Cleveland School of Art (see CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF ART) in 1885. Among his students over the following 40 years were MAX KALISH, FRANK WILCOX, and stage designer Norman Bel Geddes. Matzen's own works include the Moses and Pope Gregory IX statues on the exterior of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY COURTHOUSE, the Richard Wagner monument in EDGEWATER PARK, and the Collinwood Fire Memorial (see COLLINWOOD SCHOOL FIRE) in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY. Easily his most familiar local monument is the statue of Mayor TOM L. JOHNSON dedicated in PUBLIC SQUARE in 1916. His choice of Cain and Abel to adorn the Painesville Cty. Courthouse also attracted widespread notice. Matzen prided himself on the fact that most of his work was done in open competition. In other cities, it included the Schiller Monument in Detroit and the War and Peace Group for the Indianapolis, Ind., Soldiers and Sailors Monument. He retired as head of the Sculpture dept. from the CSA in 1926. After the death of his first wife, the former Emma Hale of Cleveland, he was married in 1908 to Blanche Dissette Matzen (1880-3 Oct. 1964), who in a long career of civic leadership became the first woman foreman of a Cuyahoga Cty. grand jury in 1934. Survived by her and 3 children (Madeline, Mrs. Dorothy Coleman, and Herman N., Jr.), Matzen was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY, amid such examples of his art as the Burke Chapel and White memorial.