February 27, 1884
|Died||May 4, 1954 (aged 70)|
New York, New York
|Resting place||Riverside Cemetery (Saddle Brook, New Jersey)|
|Education||Art Students League of New York, National Academy of Design|
|Known for||drypoint, Etching|
|"Hands," series of etchings|
|Spouse(s)||Marcus L. Osk|
Roselle Osk (1884–1954) was an American printmaker known for her drypoints and etchings. Her style was realist and her subjects were figure studies, landscapes, and seascapes. She exhibited frequently during the 1930s and 1940s and was awarded prizes by the Society of American Etchers, Philadelphia Print Club, and National Association of Women Artists. Her work was often selected for "Best Prints of the Year" shows held by the etchers group.
Early life and education
Osk was born and raised in Manhattan. After graduating from Hunter College in 1903 she studied at the Art Students League until 1906 and at the National Academy of Design from 1912 to 1915. At the Art Students League her teachers were Frank DuMond Henry Reuterdahl Bryson Burroughs and Kenyon Cox. Some years later she also studied at the Grand Central School of Art.
Osk began her career in 1920 as a painter. In 1917 she had begun spending the summer months in Bayport, New York on the south shore of Long Isand, and in 1927 she showed paintings for the first of many occasions in a group show held by the Associated Artists of Long Island in Patchogue.[note 1] In this and other exhibitions of the late 1920s and early 1930s Osk showed portraits in oil, pastel, and crayon, as well as landscapes and a still life in oil. She began her career as a printmaker in 1932 and, while she continued to show oils from time to time, from the middle 1930s onward she mainly showed drypoints and etchings.[note 2]
Osk's work often appeared in exhibitions of organizations of which she was a member. In addition to the Associated Artists of Long Island, these included the Associated American Artists,, Art Students League, National Association of Women Artists, Grand Central Art Galleries, and Artists Equity.[note 3] She also showed with self-organized groups, most prominently ones associated with New York's Municipal Art Committee. In 1936 Osk joined with Will Barnet, Kathrin Cawein, and Betty Waldo Parish to show prints in one such exhibition. In 1939 she joined with six artists to show paintings in another of them.[note 4]
Throughout her career she made portraits, landscapes and seascapes, figure studies, genre paintings, and still lifes. In 1941 a critic said it was the portraits that had made her famous. In 1938 the New York Times critic, Howard Devree, said that Osk's prints were outstanding. A series of four etchings called, "Hands," was widely admired. When shown in 1937 Devree called them "arresting." When shown again in 1941, the Times critic, Ada Rainy, said they were effective in their characterization, and one of them ("The Sailor," shown at left) was included in the book, American Prize Prints of the Twentieth Century.[note 5] In her 1941 article on Osk's etchings, Ada Rainey, called "Little Old Lady" (shown at right) "a fine characterization." In 1942 Rainey described a drypoint, "The Sisters" (shown at left), as "done with understanding of the value of strength of line and the structure of the figures." In 1953 the Times critic, Leslie Judd Portner, wrote that Osk's drypoint, "Six O'Clock" (shown at right) was "completely realistic." As well as paintings, etchings, and drypoints, Osk made aquatints and etched relief prints in the late 1940s.
During the 1940s and 1950s Osk held frequent solo exhibitions in Sayville, Long Island and on three occasions held them in Manhattan (1931, 1938, and 1941). During the late 1930s and early 1940s juries often selected her prints for inclusion in "best prints" exhibitions held by the Society of American Etchers. She was awarded prizes in 1938, 1940, 1941, 1945, and 1946.
Osk usually produced her drypoints and etchings on presses she kept in New York and at a summer home on Long Island. She usually used a cream-colored Japanese paper and made no more than one hundred of each.
Osk was the daughter of Herman and Cornelia Thalmessinger Hellenberg. Cornelia Hellenberg, who died in 1915, was a director of the Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan. Herman Hellenberg was a partner in Hellenberg & Lowenstein, manufacturers of men's neck wear. The couple had a second child, a son named Lawrence. In 1906 Osk married Marcus L. Osk, owner of a prosperous Manhattan real estate business named Merit Realty Corp. They had two sons, Richard and George, and a daughter, Virginia (Mrs. Kenneth Poli). Osk died on May 6, 1954, in her home on West 87th Street in Manhattan and was buried in Riverside Cemetery (Saddle Brook, New Jersey).
- Associated Artists of Long Island was a membership organization composed of artists and laymen, most of them from Suffolk County, New York. It was formed in 1924 with the goal of holding group exhibitions of members' work. The show held in 1927 in which Osk's work appeared was the fourth annual one held by the group.
- Beginning in 1935 exhibition reviews and display ads mention Osk's prints far more often than her paintings.
- The Artists Equity Association was formed in New York in 1947 to protect the interests of professional artists, provide resources to help them succeed in their work, and promote opportunities for its members. Founders included Will Barnet, Thomas Hart Benton, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, and Louise Nevelson. Its first president was Yasuo Kuniyoshi.
- The Municipal Art Committee was a non-profit group set up by the city government in 1935 to promote art, dance, and music and to support their creators. In 1936 it began holding art exhibitions. Self-organized groups of between 10 and 15 could arrange to show their work over two-week periods. The committee took no fees or commissions on any sales that these shows produced.
- The set of prints included "The Lumberman," "The Baby," and "The Seamstress" as well as "The Sailor." It was cited again in her New York Times obituary and in a retrospective exhibition in 1963.
- Ada Rainey (1941-12-28). "Henry Olson Pictures Now at Arts Club; U.S. National Museum". New York Times. p. L7.
At the United States National Museum, the division of graphic arts, announces an exhibition of etchings and dry points by Rosella H. Osk, of New York, to be held in the lobby of the Natural History Building during the month of January.
- "Mrs. Roselle Osk, Etcher, Painter: Prize-Winning Artist, Whose Works Are in Museums and Library of Congress, Dies". New York Times. 1954-05-06. p. 33.
- Ronald G. Pisano (1988). One hundred years: a centennial celebration of the National Association of Women Artists. Nassau County Museum of Fine Art.
Roselle Osk was a printmaker whose work was regularly exhibited with the Society of American Etchers as well as other important exhibitions. Her work, in fact, was regularly included among the 100 best prints of the year.
- "Rose Hellenberg in household of M Thalmessinger, Borough of Manhattan, Election District 16 New York City Ward 23, New York County, New York, United States". "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch; citing enumeration district (ED) 619, sheet 2B, family 25, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,108. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- "Oils, Etchings by Roselle Osk Being Shown in Sayville". Patchogue Advance. Patchogue, New York. 1948-08-12. p. 5.
- "CM Art Show Features Works of Noted Artist". Patchogue Advance. Patchogue, New York. 1963-11-21. p. 15.
- "Obituaries; Marcus Leonard Osk". Suffolk County News. Sayville, New York. 1956-10-05. p. 4.
- "Art Exhibition Most Notable Yet". Patchogue Advance. Patchogue, New York. 1927-07-19. p. 2.
Another first timer for this organization is Roselle H. Osk of Bayport, showing two oil portraits of elderly women, one a rather difficult subject, toward a bright window, and a still life group feature brass vessels.
- "Long Island Artists Form an Association; Plan to Give Two Exhibits a Year and Sales of Work By Local Artists". County Review. Riverhead, New York. 1924-11-07. p. 19.
- "Artists' Work Attracting Much Attention at Annual Exhibition". Patchogue Advance. Patchogue, New York. 1930-07-29. p. 1.
Of the Associated Artists Roselle Osk of Bayport has numerous charming portraits in pastel and crayon, and other drawings, and some oil landscape work.
- "Display Ad; Wanamaker's Picture Salon". New York Times. 1935-10-22. p. 162.
- "Display Ad; Etchings by America's Foremost Artists". New York Times. 1935-11-10. p. SM14.
- "History". New York Artists Equity Association. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
- Edward Alden Jewell (1936-05-20). "City Art Museum Offers 8th Exhibit". New York Times. p. 19.
- "New Shows". New York Times. 1939-07-09. p. 122.
Roselle Osk's gallant young Negress looks to a new day.
- "City Offers Space Free To Its Artists: Galleries for Exhibition and Sale of Their Works to Be Opened in January". New York Times. 1935-11-29. p. 17.
- Howard Devree (1938-02-13). "A Reviewer's Notebook: Comment on Some of the Newly Opened Exhibitions—Oils, Water-Colors, Prints". New York Times. p. 10X.
Outstanding in the present exhibition are prints by Roselle Osk and water colors by Helen Lane.
- Howard Devree (1937-04-11). "A Reviewer's Notebook: Comment on Some of the Newly Opened Exhibitions--Oils, Water-Colors, Prints". New York Times. p. 10X.
Roselle Osk is exhibiting some arresting etchings of hands.
- "Bayport News Briefs". Patchogue Advance. Patchogue, New York. 1950-01-09. p. 13.
At etching of hands entitled 'The Sailor' by Roselle H. Osk of Seaman Av appears in the new book, 'American Prize Prints of the Twentieth Century.'
- Ada Rainey (1942-06-07). "Busy Week on Tap For Lovers of Art In Washington; Chicago Etchings Shown Here". New York Times. p. L5.
'The Sisters,' by Roselle Osk, who had a one-man show at the National Museum recently, is done with understanding of the value of strength of line and the structure of the figures.
- Leslie Judd Portner (1953-10-25). "British School; American Prints". New York Times. p. L6.
Roselle Osk is completely realistic in 'Six O'Clock,' showing an exhausted mother and child on the subway.
- Lina Goldschmidt (1931-05-03). "A Secession Group In Germany: Sculpture By Albin Polaesk". New York Times. p. X11.
- "News of Art". New York Times. 1938-05-13. p. 15.
Paintings by Roselle H. Osk, a member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, will be shown at the Plaza Hotel.
- Edward Alden Jewell (1938-01-13). "Art Display Links Real With Unreal". New York Times. p. 10X.
- "Best Prints of the Year". New York Times. 1940-12-29. p. SM5.
- "State Art Contest Display Here Proves Sub-Standard: Washington". New York Times. 1940-11-10. p. A7.
Roselle Osk won first prize in the black and whites with the head of a young Negress.
- Edward Alden Jewell (1941-01-07). "Exhibition Is Given by Women Artists". New York Times. p. 21.
Marjorie Quinlan and Roselle Osk both were honored by the jury, which asked them to divide the Alger prize of $100. The former is represented by a watercolor, "Corn," the latter by an oil, 'Passing Storm.'
- Ada Rainey (1946-04-13). "54th Annual Show by Women Artists". New York Times. p. 48.
Isabella Markell Prize of $50 split between Gladys Mock for 'Lifting Clouds' and Roselle Osk for 'Urbanite.'
- "Roselle Hellenberg Osk - Artist". AskART online database. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
- "Obituary; Died: Hellenberg". New York Times. 1915-10-23. p. 11.
- "Deaths; Hellenberg". New York Times. 1915-10-24. p. 1.
- "The Fire Record". Hudson Register. Hudson, New York. 1890-12-11. p. 1.
- "Dwelling Market Is Active Again". New York Times. 1925-06-03. p. 41.
- "Roselle Hellenberg Osk". Find-a-Grave. Retrieved 2019-02-05.