Herman Rose

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Herman Rose was the professional pseudonym of Herman Rappaport[1] (November 6, 1909 – December 4, 2007), an American painter and artist. He was best known for his depictions of cityscapes, including his painting “74th Street Rooftops From Studio." [1]

Early life[edit]

Herman Rappaport was born in Brooklyn, New York.[1] He was originally trained as a draftsman and studied at the National Academy of Design in 1926.[1] He was employed by the Works Progress Administration's Murals Division under Arshile Gorky from 1934 until 1939.[1]


Rappaport began using the name Herman Rose when he held his first solo art exhibition in 1946 at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York City.[1] Although he initially began as an Expressionistic painter, he became known for small, light-filled Impressionist paintings of cityscapes and skies by the early 1950s.[1] Rose's paintings and images were often composed of very small dabs of paint and tiny, blurry "squares," which combined to create the image on canvas, his favorite medium.[1] He also depicted still life in his work. New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer wrote of Rose's work in 1981, "{he} must surely be counted among the most beautiful works anyone has produced in this challenging medium for many years."[1] The Art in America art critic Lawrence Campbell wrote of his work in 1990, "Herman Rose, who is, in my opinion, the greatest living painter of landscape and still life in the U.S., has never for a moment abandoned the practice of painting from direct observation. ... Yet when Rose looks at anything, he seems able to participate with his entire being in the scene 'out there,' seeing beyond the relationships of space, distance and comparative size, or even of reflected light. It is this intensity of perception that becomes the true subject of his painting, rather than the subject itself as it is seen by others."

Rose was included in a 1952 Museum of Modern Art exhibition called, “15 Americans,” which also included work by Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.[1][2] Rose's works were featured in over 20 separate solo art exhibitions over a span of 40 years.[1] His last solo exhibition took place at the Mercury Gallery in 2007.[1]

Rose also worked as an art teacher and professor. He taught at Brooklyn College from 1949 until 1951.[1] He held additionally posts at Hofstra University, Pratt Institute and Queens College before taking a teaching position at The New School from 1963 until his retirement in 1990.[1]


Herman Rose died of cancer at the age of 98 at Westbeth Artists Community, his home in New York City.[1] He was survived by his wife, Elia Braca Rose, and his two sons from his first marriage (which ended in divorce), George Rappaport and Andrew Rose.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Johnson, Ken (2007-12-28). "Herman Rose, 98, Painter of Cityscapes, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  2. ^ Lawrence Campbell (January 1996). "Objects on parade - paintings by Herman Rose". Art in America. Retrieved 2007-01-09. [dead link]

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