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Denis Lomax Collection

 Collection
Identifier: 2019.1

Scope and Contents

The Denis Lomax collection consists of photographs, photograph negatives, scrapbooks, printed materials, correspondence and writings that document the lives of explorers and filmmakers Leila Roosevelt and Armand Denis as well as their families. The collection contains materials related to Leila Roosevelt’s parents, filmmaker, entrepreneur and sportsman Cornelius Louis André Roosevelt (Andre Roosevelt), as well as architect and artist Adelheid Lange Roosevelt. The collection highlights Leila Roosevelt and Armand Denis’s travels and movie productions such as the documentary film based on the Democratic Republic of the Congo entitled Dark Rapture (Magie Africaine) (1938) and a romantic film based in Bali, Indonesia entitled Goona Goona (Love Powder) (1932). Materials documenting the Anthropoid Ape Research foundation (a chimpanzee farm) in Dania Beach, Florida, founded by Leila Roosevelt and Armand Denis, along with personal papers of their families are also included within this collection.

Dates

  • Circa 1900-2000

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Cornelius Louis André Roosevelt (Andre Roosevelt), was born on April 24, 1879. He was the son of Cornelius Roosevelt sr. (1847–1902), and Anna Roosevelt. Cornelius Roosevelt sr. (1847–1902) was a cousin of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). Andre Roosevelt was an Olympic athlete, filmmaker and entrepreneur. He played multiple sports and won the gold medal in the 1900 Olympic Games for his performance in Rugby. In 1905, Andre Roosevelt married Adelheid Lange (1880-1962) and they had a daughter named Leila Roosevelt (1906-1976). Between 1928 and 1930, Andre Roosevelt, along with daughter Leila Roosevelt and son-in-law Armand Denis, traveled to Bali, Indonesia to produce and film Goona Goona (Love Powder), which premiered to audiences in 1932. Andre Roosevelt also promoted tourism in Haiti through the Hotel Ibo Lele, which he managed. In his later life, Andre divorced from Adelheid Lange Roosevelt and had a second marriage to Alice La Fontant. Andre Roosevelt died on July 21, 1962 in Haiti.

Adelheid Lange Roosevelt was born on October 23, 1880 in St. Louis, Missouri to Mathilde Follenius Lange and William C. Lange. William C. Lange, was a German chemist and banker. Adelheid was an architect and became one of the first women to earn a degree in architecture at the Zurich Polytechnic Institute in Switzerland. She worked with St. Louis architect Theodore Link for four years before marrying Andre Roosevelt. Adelheid was also an accomplished cubist artist and sculptor who exhibited her work in many galleries including the Modern Gallery in New York City, New York. Adelheid Lange Roosevelt died on February 15, 1962 in Thompson, Connecticut.

Leila Roosevelt was born on July 9, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri to Adelheid Lange and Andre Roosevelt. She was a director, screenwriter, filmmaker and explorer. Leila worked with, and accompanied her husband, Armand Denis and father Andre Roosevelt on multiple expeditions around the world including Bali, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She also traveled on her own, completing an around the world by truck expedition with associate and mechanic Edna Olmstead. Leila Roosevelt and Armand Denis had four children: Renee, Armand jr., David, and Heidi Denis. Armand Denis and Leila later divorced and she married William Westley. Leila Roosevelt died in 1976.

Armand Georges Denis was born on December 2, 1896 to Belgian parents in Brussels, Belgium. He was a filmmaker, explorer, writer and magazine editor. He traveled, and worked with Andre Roosevelt on the film, Goona Goona (Love Powder) (1932). Armand Denis and Leila Roosevelt also traveled to North Africa as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to film a documentary sponsored by Belgian King Leopold III entitled Wheels of Africa (1936). They also produced the film Dark Rapture (Magie Africaine) (1938) based on their travels to the Congo. The couple also founded a chimpanzee farm called the Anthropoid Ape Research Foundation in Dania Beach, Florida. The chimpanzees on the farm were used for medical research. Armand Denis and Leila Roosevelt divorced and Armand later married Michaela Holdsworth. In 1963 Denis became editor of a magazine entitled Animals which later became BBC Wildlife. Armand Denis died on April 15, 1971.

Extent

9.97 Linear Feet (16 Hollinger boxes and 1 folio)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

The collection is organized into two series: I. Photographs and II. Personal Papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Denis Lomax collection was donated as a gift by Denis Lomax, grandson of Leila Roosevelt and Armand Denis.

Title
Denis Lomax Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Afua Ferdnance
Date
March 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for uncoded script

Repository Details

Part of the Broward County Historical Archives Repository

Contact:
100 S Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale Florida 33301 United States
954-357-7444