1 January 1887|
The Hague, Netherlands
|Died||13 April 1965
Nyack, New York
|Occupation||Art director, Architect and Painter|
He was born in The Hague, Netherlands and died in Nyack, New York. Herman was the second child of Carel Rosse (8 March 1857 at Kassevitz - ?) and Jacoba, Susanna de Haan. The elder sister of Herman, Bertha, Suzanna (SUZE) Rosse (The Hague, 1 September 1884 - 17 April 1968) became a well known Dutch painter.
Hermann Rosse studied architecture and design at the Royal College of Art, London, and after a period of travel in Asia also attended Stanford University, where he earned his B.A. From 1911 to 1913 he produced most of the decorative interior designs – including paintings, stained glass, tiles, and marquetry – for the Peace Palace at The Hague; and while working there he met his future wife, Sophia Helena Luyt (1891–1982), a landscape architect who was responsible for the design of the formal gardens. Together they moved to California, where Rosse was commissioned to design decorations for the Netherlands pavilion at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. There he also made his first set and costume designs for theatre. In 1918 he moved to Illinois, where he had accepted an appointment to head the Design Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to teaching, he took private commissions for interiors, fabric design, and book illustrations, and made further designs for the stage in conjunction with Ben Hecht, Kenneth Macgowan, the Goodman Theater, and Mary Garden’s Chicago Grand Opera.
In 1923 Rosse moved with his family to New City in Rockland County, New York. He was already familiar with the New York theatre world, and now became more closely involved with drama, vaudeville, and musicals. In 1929 he went to Hollywood as Art Director of John Murray Anderson’s film King of Jazz, starring Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, for which Rosse’s imaginative and technically innovative designs earned him the Academy Award for Art Direction (now in the Chapin Library). For the next several years he continued to design for films, including the classics Frankenstein and The Emperor Jones, but also worked in theatre in London and the Netherlands, taught as the Professor of Decorative Art at the Technische Hoogeschool in Delft, and designed Dutch pavilions at world’s fairs in Brussels, Paris, and New York. In 1948 Rosse was appointed Resident Stage designer at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. He worked there for a dozen years, while also editing Chapter One, the newsletter of the Greater New York chapter of the American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA). In 1949 he won a competition to design the Tony Award, the silver prototype of which is in the Chapin Library. Rosse died in Nyack, New York in April 1965. Since 1988 members of the Rosse family have donated books, manuscripts, paintings, drawings, prints, plans, photographs, documents, and memorabilia concerning the work of Herman and Helena Rosse to Chapin Library, Williams College Williamstown, Massachusetts (USA).
- The Emperor Jones (1933)
- Strictly Dishonorable (1931)
- Resurrection (1931)
- East Is West (1930)
- King of Jazz (1930)
- Oriente y occidente (1930)
- "NY Times: King of Jazz". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-07.