Rox papers, 1935-1968.
Manuscript Collection: MS 0787
Agency History/Biographical note:
Henry Rox was born in Berlin, Germany on March 18, 1899. He studied
art and art history at Oberammergau, the University of Berlin,
and Kunstgewerbeschule at Berlin-Charlottenburg. He then pursued
intensive sculpture training at the Julian and Colarossi Academies
in Paris. Rox gained recognition as a prolific sculptor and his
work was displayed in many cities in Europe. He also began experimenting
with photosculpture--photographing sculptures of characters designed
from fruits and vegetables. He and his wife Lotte left Germany
for London in 1933, then settled in the United States in 1938.
In 1939 Rox was hired as a lecturer in sculpture at Mount Holyoke
College. He was promoted to Assistant Professor of Art in 1948,
Professor of Art in 1954, and became Mary Lyon Professor of Art
in 1963. During his time at Mount Holyoke, Rox also taught at
Holyoke Junior College, Hartford College, and the School of Worcester
Art Museum. He became Professor Emeritus upon retirement from
Mount Holyoke in 1964. His work in fruit and vegetable photosculpture
won repute in magazines, postcards, a Hollywood film, and as
illustrations in several children's books. His more traditional
sculptures, including "Arise!," "Meditation,"
"Young Monk," and "Ritual," won international
acclaim. Rox died at sixty-eight at home in South Hadley on July
Scope and Content:
The Henry Rox Papers consist of books and writings, exhibit catalogues,
publications illustrated with Rox's artwork, biographical information,
and photographs. The majority of the material in this collection
relates to Rox's professional work as a sculptor and professor
of art. The documentation highlights Rox's earlier work in fruit
and vegetable photosculpture, which was used in magazines, children's
books, and in the film "Strike Up the Band" (1939),
which starred Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. The collection
includes three books illustrated by Rox: "Tommy Apple"
(1935), "Tommy Apple and Peggy Pear" (1936), and "Banana
Circus" (1940), which he also wrote. One example of scholarly
writing by Rox, "On Dürer's 'Knight, Death, and Devil'"
(1948) is included in the collection along with an unpublished
transcription of one of Rox's lectures on light in art (1963).
The collection also documents Rox's more traditional work with
wood, metals, ceramic, and terracotta. Recognition for Rox's
work, which includes awards from the National Sculpture Society,
the Springfield Art League, and a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creativity
in Sculpture is thoroughly documented in this collection. The
papers also contain records of Rox's exhibits from 1945-1966
at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Springfield Museum
of Fine Arts, the Museo internazionale della ceramiche in Faenza,
Italy, the De Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, California,
and others. A number of the catalogues for these exhibits, along
with numerous pamphlets and other publications using photographs
of Rox's sculptures, are contained in the collection. Newspaper
articles also gave significant attention to his achievements
as a professor at Mount Holyoke College including promotions
and appointments at other institutions. The collection contains
photographs of Rox's work, including images of his fruit and
vegetable photosculpture and his more traditional work with wood,
metals, terracotta, plaster, and ceramic.
Cite as: Henry Rox Papers. Mount Holyoke College, Archives
and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA.
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted.