Frederick George Richard Roth1872 - 1944
Born: April 28, 1872, Brooklyn, New York
Died: May 21, 1944, Englewood, New Jersey
Frederick George Richard Roth was born in the United States but attended school in Bremen, Germany. He studied art in Vienna and Berlin before returning to New York in 1900. After winning awards at several international expositions, Roth taught at the National Academy of Design, served a term as president of the National Sculpture Society, and became a member of the Society of Animal Painters and Sculptors.
Roth, who studied animals both in their natural habitat and in city zoos, became most famous for his realistic portrayal of living animals in small bronze sculptures. However, he also produced ceramic figures, tiles, and bowls and specialized in sculpting functional items as well. The National Museum of Wildlife Art has acquired such a functional work of Roth's, a pair of bronze bear bookends, in addition to several other small bronze sculptures and two woodcut prints.
As head sculptor for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Roth also produced life-size bronze figures of both wild and domestic animals that can be found throughout the city. His most famous work, Balto, which commemorates the sled dog that delivered serum to the town of Nome, Alaska, in 1925 and saved the lives of several children, can be found in Central Park along with his monumental groups depicting Tales from Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland.
"The thing that interested me always was animals; the Fighting Panthers by Guilder and Fremet's horses and elephants. Barry [sic] did not effect me so much. He looked at the animals as a "type." I looked at them as individuals."
(Quote: Interview with Frederick George Richard Roth, 1927, NMWA Bio Files)