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"It's going to be awfully lonesome around here without him."
-George Lair, Harry Rosin memorial, New Hope, 1973
Sculptor Harry Rosin studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, then spent six years in Paris. Upon his return to Philadelphia, Rosin pursued wrought iron work, creating among other projects, a pair of doors for the Curtis Institute of Music, and gates and lamps for the Philadelphia College of Pharmacology. Because of the Great Depression, Rosin went to the West Indies in 1932. He traveled to Tahiti, where he sculpted idealized and sensual figures of natives, including the Torso of Tehiva and Hina Rapa, the native Tahitian queen.
In 1936, he returned to America with his wife, Vilna. They moved to New Hope permanently in 1938. Rosin preferred simplicity and realism in an age of abstract and modern art.
Rosin is also known for his portrait busts of children, whose charm and simplicity of form he felt made them natural subjects for sculpture. He said a portrait first should have continuity of form, which then should result in a likeness, while maintaining the individual charm of the subject. Rosin is probably most remembered for the statue of Mr. Baseball, Connie Mack, commissioned for Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia and for the statue of Jack Kelly, in Fairmont Park. His stone reliefs are on the facade of the Chester County Courthouse.
Harry Rosin was part of the exhibition The Rodin Legacy in conjunction with Rodin: The Human Experience Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections exhibit at the Michener Art Museum in 2015. The Legacy exhibit explored the influence of Rodin on 20th century and contemporary American sculptors, some of whom continue to embrace Rodin's legacy with their interest in naturalism and the partial figure, direct carving, and a desire to express inner psychological states through the physical form.
Photograph of Harry Rosin. Courtesy of Victoria Rosin Bieber. James A. Michener Art Museum.
Education and Training
Worked for Samuel Yellin, craftsman in wrought iron, 1914-1917
School of Industrial Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1919-1922
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1922-1926
Connection to Bucks County
Born in Philadelphia, Harry Rosin moved to New Hope in 1938 with his Tahitian-born wife Vilna. He lived on Covered Bridge Road and was a neighbor to sculptor John Charry. He built his own home on the land he received in exchange for doing a portrait bust for the Nimick family. Local plumber James Skillman attests that Rosin often bartered artwork for household services. Rosin had learned of New Hope from his classmates at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Rosin's colleagues included painters R.A.D. Miller, Robert Hogue, William L. Lathrop, Faye Swengel Badura, Ben Badura, John Folinsbee, and Bill Ney. He was also friendly with sculptor and painter Tom Galbraith, sculptor John Charry, painters Joseph Crilley, Cortland Butterfield and Anne Goodell Lathrop, as well as sculptor Karl Karhumaa, photographer Jack Rosen, painter and sculptor Amadeo, and many others.
Rosin made sculptures and portraits of several local people, including a bust of John Folinsbee, and many of the area children.
In addition to working with the Phillips' Mill Community Art Association, Rosin served with the Eagle Fire Company, was a member of the New Hope American Legion Post, was on the committee of Street Fairs (judged art shows and Halloween parades), and joined in on boisterous, yet fun and stimulating, discussions at the Golden Pump Restaurant in New Hope.
Leon Karp, Portrait of Harry Rosin, n.d. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.
Major Group Exhibitions
Modern American Artists, Paris, France, 1932
Salon de L'Ouevre Unique, Paris, France, 1932
Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1933-1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942-1946
Chicago World's Fair, Chicago, Illinois, 1934
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1934-1946
Texas Centennial, Dallas, Texas, 1936
Golden Gate Exposition, San Francisco, California, 1939
New York World's Fair, New York, New York, 1939
Second Sculpture International Exhibit, 1940, and Third Sculpture International Exhibit, 1949, Fairmount Park Art Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Portraits of Children and Other Recent Sculpture, Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1945
Friendship, Baltic Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1972
New Hope Six Guys and A Gal, (Cortland Butterfield, John Charry, Joe Crilley, Tom Galbraith, Anne Goodell, Karl Karhumaa, and Harry Rosin), New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1972
10th Anniversary Celebration, Bucks County Council for the Arts, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1983
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, n.d.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, n.d.
The Rodin Legacy, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2015
Major Solo Exhibitions
Harry Rosin, Selected Works, Peale House Galleries, n.d.
Solo Exhibition, Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1966
Sculpture and Drawings by Harry Rosin, Bucks County Council for the Arts, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1979
In Memorian: Harry Rosin, 1897-1973, Baltic Studios, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1973
The Puritan and The Quaker, limestone, South Terrace of the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1942
Deerfield Boy, (figure of student), 1953 and Dr. Frank L. Boyden, Headmaster, 1967, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Massachusetts
Stone Reliefs, West Chester Courthouse, West Chester, Pennsylvania,
Mr. Baseball, Connie Mack Memorial, bronze, Veteran's Stadium, Philadelphia, 1957
Jack Kelly, Olympic Champion, (John B. Kelly), bronze, Kelly Drive, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1965
Coins commemorating endangered species, set of twelve coins, Philadelphia Zoo Centennial, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1974
Various commissions for the French Government in Tahiti and Guadeloupe including a twenty foot Christ figure for a cathedral on Guadelope, 1933, and Portrait of Miko Nordhoff, 1935, daughter of Charles Nordhof, co-author of Muntiny of the Bounty
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Portrait of John Folinsbee, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reclining Nude, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1947
Harry Rosin. Newspaper clipping of Lloyd (Bill) Ney and Harry Rosin, New Hope 1961. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Instructor of Construction and Sculpture, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1939-1967
Juror of Sculpture, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1940
Sculpture Chairman, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1944, 1951
Faculty Jury, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1956
Stewardson Prize, Sculpture, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1926
Cresson Traveling Scholarship, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1926
George D. Widener Medal, for Hina Rapa, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1939
Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1940
Sculpture International, Commission for the Ellen Phillips Samuel Terrace, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, 1940
Pennsylvania Fellowship Prize, 1941, and Gold Medal Award, 1942
$1000 Prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1946
Gold Medal Award, Philadelphia Regional Show, 1950
Bouregy Portrait Prize, Audubon Artists, 1956
Distinguished Pennsylvania Artist Award, 1964
Affiliations and Memberships
Associate, National Academy of Design, New York
Torso of Hina Rapa
Torso of Tehiva
Portrait of Tibby Nimick and Tory Rosin, Age 9 Months
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