Organizations* : SI
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Frederic Kimball Mizen was educated in the Chicago public school system, but spent his summers in the West with his father, who was a secretary to generals stationed in the West.
Mizen later became the pupil of Walter Ufer at the J. Francis Smith Academy of Art in Chicago, from 1904 to 1906. He next studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in the evenings, the pupil of Vanderpoel and Clute. At twenty, Mizen became a Sears catalog illustrator. He became known for his fourteen years of billboard advertisements, including the first such ad for Coca-Cola, as well as covers for The Saturday Evening Post, American, and Collier’s.
In 1935, Mizen was in Taos, New Mexico, studying again with Ufer, and received a commission from the Santa Fe Ry for Indian paintings and Southwest landscapes. The following year, he founded the Mizen Art Academy in Chicago, limiting his own painting to portraits after 1939. He spent his summers in Taos, painting and teaching.
From 1952 to 1960, Mizen was the chairman of the art department at Baylor University. In 1964 or 1965 (the date is slightly unclear), Mizen died in Chicago.
Reference: Samuels’ Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, by Peggy and Harold Samuels