Paul Coze born Paul Jean Coze-Dabija 29 July 1903 in Beirut, Lebanon died 2 December 1974 Phoenix, Arizona was a French-American anthropologist, artist, and writer, most notable as a French authority on Native Americans, and for his public art in the 1960s.
Born in Beirut of a French engineer father, Edouard Coze, and a mother, Sonia/Sofia Dabija, a Russian princess with lineage from old 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. Coze was the first French Wood Badger and a Chevalier de France, and served as editor of the Scout magazine.
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, Mœurs 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.
He acted as a technical adviser on the Hollywood films Uncertain Glory (1944) and Rogues' Regiment where he also had a small role. Coze acted as a researcher on The Razor's Edge (1946).
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 multimedia installations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum and other civic landmarks, most with Native themes. Coze provided artistic designs for Arizona's celebration of 50 years of statehood, The Arizona Story, in 1962.
He died in 1974 and is buried in St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix.
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.