Emil Seletz

1907 - 1999

Emil Seletz was a celebrated neurosurgeon, author, and sculptor. Dr. Seletz served as Chief of Neurosurgery at Cedar’s Hospital (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) and then as Professor of Neurological Surgery at the USC School of Medicine. In his 1956 article in the Los Angeles Times, Cecil Smith wrote “Dr. Seletz works with bronze in hobby that brings nearly as much fame as his practice. Dr. Emil Seletz is a man of two worlds. And a champion of each.” The Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons reported, “To relax, neurosurgeon Seletz becomes a sculptor. While Dr. Seletz looks upon his sculpures as a hobby and a means of relaxing from the tensions brought about by his work, he is nevertheless known as a sculptor." Dr. Seletz has 38 sculptures on display in public buildings, medical schools and hospitals from coast to coast. Dr. Seletz described a portrait bust as “a biographical sketch of an individual, recorded for posterity. It must possess personality, true character, a suggestion of the sitter’s life, his aims, purpose, state of mind, scope of thinking, strength and weakness. His life story should be in his face.” In his book, Portrait Sculpture, Emil Seletz describes each of his portrait busts. A copy of the book is available in the library's ARCHIVES. (NB 497 S4 S464P 1994?)