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  Rosebee  (1932 - )

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: nautical folk artist, painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
"Mermaids Picking Cranberries"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is from Peter Kostoulakos, Lowell, Massachusetts

Rosebee grew up on the fringes of the dying whaling industry in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where she shadowed her seafaring grandfather. For as long ago as she can remember his stories filled her bright imagination with vivid images of times long past and topics most folks call tall tales. But, tall tales often grow from a grain of truth.

Rosebee's grandfather answered every question and explained each mystery through his fantastic yarns. She listened intently and conjured up images of ghost ships haunting the Northeast coast, slicing through the diamond studded seas at midnight, searching for the next victim of their skullduggery - or protecting secret buried treasure Rosebee believed only she could discover. She accepted that dolphins befriended wayward vessels and guided them safely home and that the spirits of ancient wanderers danced away the night in the neighboring cemetery - and even, perhaps, in her own attic. So her childhood hunger to comprehend the surrounding world was greatly populated with mer-families, Indians, sailors, whales and dolphins that frolicked just beyond the horizon, pioneers and pirates.

Throughout her life Rosebee has recorded the rich legacy her grandfather passed to her, in diaries. She calls them memory books and they bulge to overflowing. But, Rosebee wasn't content to merely write a history of his gift of words - something more had to be done.  At an age when many lives are suffused with quieter days because children have left the nest; when volunteering or gardening fill hours once devoted to family; and when many souls experience feeling left out or left behind, Rosebee's spirit compelled her to paint the people, the activities, and the real and imagined lives of the characters so lovingly tendered by her grandfather. She has never deviated from her original goal and has remained true to her vision - and that has carried her far.

Rosebee is often, and appropriately, labeled "America's Premier Nautical and Patriotic Folk Artist". It is a well-deserved title because her use of American flags and the inclusion of everyday characters of sailing fantasy and fiction are not a new invention for her - she employed them from the start, as she rendered memories to canvas.

Rosebee is included in many museum collections and important private collections.

Hughes Art Gallery

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