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Harry Rosin

Sculptor
Born December 21, 1897, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died September 29, 1973, New Hope, Pennsylvania

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 Depression, Rosin went to the West Indies in 1932. He traveled to Tahiti, where he sculpted beautiful 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. His torsos of young Polynesian women are sensual and expressive.
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.

Image: Photograph of Harry Rosin , courtesy of Victoria Rosin Bieber, James A. Michener Art Museum


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