John Mosiman was an uncle I never met and did not know much of anything about until I began my family history research. It broke my heart to know I had an uncle I never knew and cousins I never knew living in Texas. I had no other cousins or uncles on my father’s side of the family tree. I reached out to John Mosiman in the final years of his life, when I finally located him. I thought my father would be overjoyed to be in touch with John as he had mentioned him in a kind a loving way. I thought John would be happy to connect with my father, but, I think maybe my reaching out to him via e-mail was a great shock to him. I’ve saved those e-mails. They mean the world to me, however, frankly, I desperately wanted to meet him and his family. That was never to be.
I gave my father John’s contact information and I gave John my father’s contact information urging them to reach out to each other. I felt certain they would because of their strong religious faith and dedication to family. I was concerned that due to their age, one would pass and they would never have the opportunity to meet. And that is just what happened. It just hurt my heart so much. I had felt my Grandmother Helen holding my hand as I did this work of reunification of the two brothers. A few years have passed and I still hurt to have had this experience. I have learned you can’t fix some things, especially when it comes to broken family relations. I have let go and let God…
father of John Mosiman
son of Dr. Wilder Morris BOSWORTH Sr., D.D.S.
the daughter of Capt. Frank Hunt BOSWORTH II
The Daily Herald-Chicago Illinois 1974 January 27
John Mosiman: his painting comes from the heart
By Eleanor Rives
One spectator called it “ballet on a palette.”
John Mosiman, Elgin artist who has made thousands of appearances before clubs, schools, conventions, banquets and churches, entitles it “Musical Paintings.”
More than music, more than art, Mosiman’s program holds an audience enthralled. At his recent appearance at the Des Plaines Ladies of Elks Christmas dinner, one could hear a pin drop.
He dramatically combines stereophonic music, “painting” with colored chalks and theatrical lighting units that he manipulates to produce various moods in an almost dreamlike sequence.
His movements coincide with the rhythms and interpretations of such orchestral sound tracks as “Carmen”
His Scenes are realistic 00 the vastness and grandeur of America’s West; landscapes from Venice, Ecuador, Spain; a Midwestern farm scene; vistas of natural beauty he has encountered in his travels from coast to coast and in seven foreign countries.
Let’s look in on Mosiman’s Christmas program.
“I have my orchestra with me tonight in there two boxes,” Mosiman chats with the audience, with modest reference to his new stereophonic speakers, part of the 200 pounds of equipment – easel, sound system and theatrical lighting units – he brings with him.
The only illumination in the room falls on the large canvas in the gold frame.
Matching his strokes and pace to the music, the lefthanded artist proceeds to depict the manger scene on a background already aswirl with muted color. Mosiman matches mood for mood, slashing in bold, dramatic lines to the beat, excitement building as the music crescendos. The finished scene is viewed in quiet awe through a succession of lighting effects – now dim, now fiery, now fluorescent – to a musical background of “What Child is This?”
And so it is with the Wise Men following a star, then with the shepherds tending their flocks in the fields, ending with the stirring music of Handel’s “Messiah.”
House lights go up, the audience returns to reality to pop questions at Mosiman, who explainds the ‘more mundane aspects of how to use the vinyl-backed canvas over and over, how to make one’s own chalk, how the lights are operated.
“Making chalk is easier than making a cake…all except black, I buy that,” he says.
Back in 1952, John Mosiman, a student at Wheaton College, was drawing I the black ghettos on the south side of Chicago. Then, with art degree tucked under his arm, he took off for Ecuador to work with a missionary radio station.
“I was doing missionary work in a specialized way,” he said. He was sent by the mission to give art programs in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rico. He presented them to a background of classical music.
Gradually he began moving with the music. When the mission got late television, John was responsible for all the art work, the title cards, the backdrops and a program of his own.
When he saw his own program on TV, he realized he was not identifying with the music nearly as much as he supposed. “From that time on I just let go,” he said. “I really threw myself into it.
Mosiman met his wife, a nurse with the mission, at language school in Costa Rica where he was studying Spanish. They married, lived 10 years in Quito, Ecuador, then moved back to the states with their three children, settling in Algonquin (later in Elgin).
At that time, Johns life was at crossroads, with three possible directions. He was a partner and craftsman in a small printing shop; he had returned to school, Northern Illinois University, to work on his master’s degree; he could continue performing. Which route to go?
“I really liked performing best,” he said.
H attained his master’s degree, ended his print shop affiliation and began performing again. In the next few years his programs mushroomed from none to 250 a year.
Since then he has performed in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas, Miami, New York and host of other places including numerous engagements in the northwest suburbs. He has appeared before approximately 200 organizations this past year, 25 of them schools. For the convenience of club program chairmen, he is listed in Paddock Publications Program Directory. He may be reached at 805-7341.
His programs vary from 15 to 75 minutes. Some are light and gay, some serious and sedate. All involve weeks of preparation designing color sketches, lighting sequences, musical sound tracks, scripts and choreography. But more than this makes John Mosiman’s performance exhilarating.
He summed it simply. “I feel the pictures. They come from inside.”
In Memory of John Mosiman
September 12, 1931 – December 26, 2012
John Mosiman, devoted husband, father, and grandfather went to be with his Lord on December 26, 2012.
John was the adopted son of Fred and Lucille Mosiman of Elgin, Illinois. He leaves a legacy of faith and love to his wife of 57 years, Gloria.
John is survived by his sister Sue Wyld of Wheaton, Illinois; three adult children, his daughter Elizabeth Adkins of Summerville, South Carolina; his daughter Marianne and her husband John Sullivan of Austin, Texas; his son John Douglas Mosiman and his wife Ajeli of Fort Mill, South Carolina; and five grandchildren.
John graduated from Wheaton College in 1953 and later earned his Master of Art degree in art at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.
John and Gloria met in San José, Costa Rica. They studied Spanish prior to mission work in Ecuador South America. They were married in Quito, Ecuador where they served as missionaries for twelve years.
John created an art form he called “Musical Paintings.” It was a blend of chalk paintings with theatrical lighting and choreographed to music, captivating audiences at clubs, conventions, churches and schools. He performed from New York to Dallas, Miami to San Francisco, also to Canada and seven countries in Latin America crossing a span of forty-one years.
John was an accomplished artist and created pencil drawings and acrylic paintings. He enjoyed hiking and camping in the wilderness. During his career he climbed forty-seven peaks in the Rocky Mountains. He was well-known for sleeping under the stars in his hammock instead of a tent. He greatly enjoyed carving intricate designs and Bible verses on walking sticks.
John opted to spend his retirement years ministering in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. A major part of his work was building houses for destitute families, enabling them to move out of their cardboard shacks and into frame houses. He recruited and spearheaded volunteer construction teams, supervising them and working with his own hands as well. They constructed over one hundred fifty houses. John gather financial donation of over one million dollars.
John sponsored hundreds of Mexican youths for high school and university education. Through his life, God radically changed the life of many people; both those in need and those who came to help.
John completed his work in Mexico in 2010 when his illness prevented him from travelling. Since that time, being confined at home, he enjoyed teaching the Bible to small groups at his home and mentoring several individuals.
John will be missed by his family and friends worldwide. John often mentioned this Bible verse: “There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God. It is he who made us capable of serving…” – 2 Corinthians 3.5, 6 TEV.
A memorial service celebrating John’s life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Hillcrest Baptist Church, 3838 Steck Ave, Austin, Texas. 78759.
In lieu of flowers, John has requested donations be made out to His Work, Inc., 13217 Dime Box Trl. Austin, TX 78729, with a memo designating the check for Acuña Mexico Ministry, Building and or Education. Website: http://hisworkinc.org or for aiding persecuted Christians around the world, send donations to the Voice of Martyrs, PO Box 443, Bartlesville, OK 74005-0443, phone 800-747-0085, memo John Mosiman memorial.
Condolences may be made at www.cookwaldenchapelofthehills.com
So many of John Mosiman’s works of art are available to view just by Googling his name. I especially love the barn and Wisconsin scenes, of course. My style of painting is much like his.
I just wish I could have met him. I wish my father and grandmother could have known him. At least I feel I kind of know him.