Harry Rosin (1897 - 1973)
Harry Rosin was New Hope’s most famous sculptor. His two most familiar works are the statues of John B. Kelly, in his racing scull, located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, and the statue of baseball great, Connie Mack, at Philadelphia’s stadium. Born in Philadelphia, Rosin graduated from Central High School, before working for renowned wrought iron craftsman, Samuel Yellin.
Rosin enrolled at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Charles Grafly. He was awarded the Cresson Traveling Scholarship by the Academy in 1926, traveling to Paris for additional studies. While there he became acquainted with Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Jacques Lipschitz, Giorgio de Chirico, and Lloyd Ney.
A lifelong friendship would develop with Ney, who would also settle in New Hope. Upon returning home, Rosin found work scarce due to the Depression, so he traveled to the Island of Guadeloupe.
Fortunately, while there, he was given a commission for a sculpture by the local government. Upon completion of the sculpture, Rosin headed to Tahiti for a thirty-day trip in 1933 which turned into a four-year stay. Once again returning home, but this time with Tahitian wife, Vilna, Rosin settled permanently near New Hope and became one of the town’s most beloved figures. He worked in bronze, cast stone, plaster, and various other compositions. Much of his work depicts subjects of Tahitian influence. He also produced a body of oil paintings.
Rosin headed the Sculpture Department at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1939 until 1967. He also taught iron design for a time at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts and potter and modeling at Trenton State College.
Rosin was an associate member of the National Academy of Design, and exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Chicago World’s Fair, the Texas Centennial, the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco, the New York World’s Fair, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Carnegie Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Modern American Artists of Paris, and the Phillips Mill near New Hope.
Photo Source: The Rosin Archives