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Obituaries : Anna Mahler; Sculptor Known for Larger-Than-Life Figures

June 15, 1988|BURT A. FOLKART | Times Staff Writer

Anna Mahler, a sculptor known for her larger-than-life figures and for her portrait busts of such musical giants as Arnold Schoenberg and Bruno Walter, has died in London, it was learned this week.

The daughter of composer Gustav Mahler was 83 and died June 2 in London, said her longtime friend, Manon Manion. Manion added that Miss Mahler had gone to Europe to prepare for an upcoming show of her work in Salzburg, Austria. She was under treatment for kidney ailments at the time of her death.

A longtime resident of West Los Angeles where her outdoor studio on Beverly Glen Boulevard attracted both the curious and the art scholar, Miss Mahler was born in Vienna and studied painting in Rome and Paris. She turned to sculpture saying, "I found I could express myself better in sculpture's form than I could with paint's color and design."

In 1937 she was awarded the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris for an 8-foot stone statue of a woman. Over the years she became known locally for her outdoor sculpture at UCLA, where she taught art in the 1950s, and at USC.

She came to Los Angeles from Europe in 1950 and first worked out of her home on North Laurel Avenue in Hollywood where she rendered busts of maestros Wilhelm Furtwaengler, Otto Klemperer, Walter and later of composer Schoenberg. She will also be remembered for Schoenberg's death mask.

One of her better-known works is the "Tower of Masks," a 15-foot-high, 28-ton pillar of limestone in front of Macgowan Hall at UCLA.

Survivors include her husband Albrecht Joseph, two daughters and three grandchildren. Services will be Saturday in London, Manion said.

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