Community - February 10, 2010

Obitury: Anita Ventura Mozley

Anita Ventura Mozley, founding curator of photography at the Stanford University Museum of Art, died Jan. 23 at her home in Menlo Park. She was 81.

Soon after joining the museum as registrar, Ms. Mozley recognized the significance of its collection of Eadweard Muybridge's stop-motion photographs of a horse in motion, commissioned a century earlier by Governor Leland Stanford.

She was named curator of photography in 1971, and the following year organized her most significant exhibition, "Eadweard Muybridge: The Stanford Years, 1872-1882." It traveled nationally and internationally.

Active in the New York art scene of the 1950s as a writer, critic and painter, Ms. Mozley designed posters for the Leo Castelli Gallery and came to know Jasper Johns. Years later, she donated to what is now known as Stanford's Cantor Arts Center two lithographs Mr. Johns had inscribed to her.

She served as managing editor and West Coast correspondent for Arts Magazine from 1955 to 1964. With sculptor Sidney Geist, she produced an alternative arts newsletter, "Scrap," from 1960 to 1962.

Moving to San Francisco in 1962, she married Robert Mozley and worked at the Maritime Museum before joining the Stanford art museum in 1970. She immediately began expanding its photography collection, according to family friend Karen Bartholomew. In addition to Muybridge, her research included Julia Margaret Cameron, Thomas Annan, Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams, Peter Stackpole and Laurie Novak.

After her retirement in 1986, she again took up drawing and painting, and exhibited in California and at shows near her summer home in Southport, Maine.

Born Anita Ventura in Washington, D.C., Ms. Mozley grew up in Rochester, New York. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in art, with honors, from Northwestern University, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She studied with Morris Kantor in 1950 and 1951 at the Arts Students League in New York City.

Ms. Mozley is survived by her stepson, Peter Mozley of Soccoro, New Mexico, and three nieces. Her husband of 32 years, Robert Mozley, died in 1999.

Services will be private. The family prefers contributions be made to Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), 222 High St., Palo Alto, CA 94301; or The Smile Train, 41 Madison Ave., 28th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10010.


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