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 Ted Rose  (1940 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Wisconsin      Known for: railroad views, landscape and genre painting

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Ad Code: 3
Ted Rose
from Auction House Records.
Train passing a mission, 1984; Trains in a sunlit station, 1985; Two trains passing in winter (Yes, we have bananas), 1985; Train near a silo (The latter years), 1986 (group of four)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
In the spring, 2006, the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the campus of Marquette University held a retrospective exhibition of photographs and paintings by Ted Rose.  Composed of more than 50 watercolor paintings and industrial-scene photographs, which document the end of steam railroading in North America, this exhibition marks the first time Rose's paintings and photographs have been shown together.

Antiques and the Arts Weekly, April 7, 2006, p. 5

Biography from Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery Santa FeTucson:
Ted Rose has a passion for railroads, which started when he took his first train ride in 1949 to a railroad fair in Chicago.  Then, in the mid-1950s, a teen aged Rose traveled throughout the United States and Canada, photographing and sketching in watercolor what he sensed was the twilight of the steam locomotive.

After receiving a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois in 1962, Rose served in Vietnam, and upon his return settled in Chama, New Mexico. In 1966, he moved to Santa Fe, where he opened a graphic design business.  In 1983, he started to paint watercolors full time, with a nostalgic focus on the days when steam ruled the railroads.

Rose is a signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society and a member of the American Watercolor Society.   New Mexico Magazine honored him as their Distinguished Artist for 1997.

Rose paints landscapes that incorporate human history in the form of trains, railroads, interstates, side roads, diners and gas stations.  He finds watercolor offers greater options than oil, and is more malleable.  "Watercolor is direct; there is almost no complexity in the preparation of the painting aspects of it," Rose says.

First he visualizes a prospective painting, then he sketches reference points to understand if what he imagined works on paper.  His camera is the sketchbook, but he rarely creates one of his almost photographic watercolors from a single image. Often he searches for illustrations by Depression-era photographers Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans for background material, and even consults old time tables to ensure he is accurate about the exact time of a train's departure from a depot.

One of his watercolors, Three Below at Monero, a memory from the time he lived in Chama, presents the last vestiges of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad's narrow gauge operations in New Mexico during the mid-1960s.  Two locomotives struggle with freight through Monero and up the grade toward Chama.  On this frozen early morning, there is indeed an end of the line ahead, for abandonment looms in 1968.

Donald Hagerty, Leading the West, One Hundred Contemporary Painters and Sculptors, 1997

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