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John Rogers Portrait

John Rogers

Also Known as: John H. Rogers

Salem, Massachusetts 1829

New Canaan, Connecticut 1904

Active in:

  • New York, New York

Photo Caption:
Collection of the New-York Historical Society; negative #26484.

Luce Artist Quote

“I think if I . . . represent pure human nature I can make a living by it as well as enjoy it exceedingly.” John Rogers, 1859, quoted in David Wallace, John Rogers, 1967


Born in Massachusetts, later lived in Chicago and New York City. Sculptor whose mass-produced plaster "Rogers Groups" of adults and children found places in many American homes and in some museums.

Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

John Rogers was hugely popular with the American public during the late 1800s, selling almost eighty thousand of his plaster statuettes or “groups.” As a young man, he trained to be a machinist and worked in several factories. He spent his spare time modeling figures from clay and in 1858 decided to travel to Europe to train to be a sculptor. He was disappointed, however, because his realistic approach to sculpture did not fit with the neoclassical style practiced in Rome and Paris, and he soon returned to America. He exhibited his sculptures in shop windows and charity fairs, taking orders for copies. His small groups sold for around fifteen dollars, making them a popular art for the middle class rather than accessories for “rich people’s parlors.”