Ted Rose (1940-2002) Biography

Ted Rose (1940-2002) Biography

Ted Rose had 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 teenaged 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.  Recently New Mexico Magazine honored him as their Distinguished Artist for 1997.

Rose found watercolor to offer a greater number of options than oil, and to be more malleable.  “Watercolor is direct; there is almost no complexity in the preparation of the painting aspects of it,” Rose said.  First he visualized a prospective painting, and then sketched reference points to understand if what he imagined would work on paper. 

His camera was the sketchbook, but he rarely created one of his almost photographic watercolors from a single image.  Often, he searched for illustrations by Depression-era photographers Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans for background material, and even consulted old timetables to ensure he was accurate about the exact time of a train’s departure from a depot.

Available Works

We are actively handling this artist's work. Unfortunately, there are no pieces available at this time.
  • Board of Directors Award, NM Watercolor Society, Spring 2000
  • Best of Watercolor/Gouache, Old West Museum, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 2000
  • Lafayette (La.) Art Association, Best in Two-Dimensional, for a monotype, 2000
  •  The Artist’s Magazine national competition, First Place, Landscape, 1997
  • New Mexico Magazine’s Distinguished Artist for 1997
  • National Irving Shapiro Memorial Watercolor Competition, Chicago: Second Place 1996
  • Adirondacks National Exhibition: Winsor & Newton Award 1996
  • Midwest Watercolor Society Nat’l Exhibition: Door County Creative Workshop Award 1996
  • Kansas Watercolor Society Seven-State Exhibition: Mountain Iron & Supply Award 1996
  • New Mexico Watercolor Society: Board of Directors Award 1997 and 1996 Best of Show 1994;
  • Grumbacher Award 1993; Board of Directors Award 1991; Honorable Mention 1990, 1988; Second Place 1989. Signature Member, elected 1991
  • New York Book Show: 3rd Place Jacket Award (Across America on an Emigrant Train, Clarion Books) 1994
  • West Texas Watercolor Society: Second Place 1994
  • American Watercolor Society: Signature Member, elected 1993; Dagmar Tribble Award 1993
  • American Advertising Federation: First Place (Addv) for Cumbres & Toltec Scenic
  • Railroad magazine ad 1982
  • American Advertising Federation, District 12: First Place 1982
  • Northern New Mexico Advertdisting Federation, Santa Fe: more than 25 First, Second and Merit awards 1982-1988,1993
  • Milwaukee Journal Art Contest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: First Place 1956

Paintings in private and corporate collections including:

  • CSX Corporation
  • College of Santa Fe
  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe
  • John & Marilyn Mc Greer
  • Dr. Alexander Ruthven II
  • Donnell & Susan Piestrup
  • John & Susanne Manley
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • Amtrak
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Kalmbach Publishing Co.
  • Margot Fogg
  • Colorado Railroad Museum
  • Judge Reinhold
  • Bill Withuhn
  • Albert Louer
  • Wallace Abbey
  • Fred Springer
  • Santa Fe Southern Railway
  • Morgan Stanley (Japan)
  • California State Railroad Museum
  • 2nd Annual Missouri National Juried Exhibition, 2002
  • 71st Annual Hudson Valley National Juried Exhibition, 2002
  • 26th Annual Midwest Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition, 2002
  • The Artist’s Magazine, Competition Finalists’ Show, 1997 (First Place, Landscape)
  • Ridgway Gallery, Colorado: solo exhibition, 1997
  • Johnsons of Madrid (NM. Group shows, 1997
  • NM. Arts and Crafts Fair, jurors’ show. 1997
  • Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, Old Forge N.Y.,1997,1996
  • National Irving Shapiro Memorial Watercolor Competition, Chicago,1996,1995
  • California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, 1995-1997
  • Fenn Galleries, Santa Fe: invitational group show for Absolute Vodka, 1995
  • Nymeyer Gallery, Chicago: Group show, 1995
  • Cline Gallery, Santa Fe, “Enduring Inspiration: N.M. Landscape Painting 1995, “invitational group show,1995
  • Zaplin-Lampert Gallery, Santa Fe: solo shows 1995, 1994, 1992, 1990
  • Museum of New Mexico, Southwest Biennial, 1969
  • The Artist’s Magazine: “ 97 Art Competition, Landscape, First Place, Ted Rose,” Dec. 1997
  • New Mexico Magazine: “Ted Rose: Off the Beaten Track, “by  Candelora Versace, with 10 paintings, Sept. 1996
  • Railfan & Railroad: “Returning to the Rails: Artist Ted Rose came back to his favorite subject and medium, 
  • “feature article by Editor Jim Boyd, with six paintings including cover, Nov. 1994; “We’d like you to meet Ted Rose, “ Jan. 1987
  • Wingspread: editorial feature, Winter 1994-95
  • Southwest Art: “Ted Rose: Locomotion, “by Anna Francis, with four paintings, May 1993
  • Locomotive & Railway Preservation: November 1989, May 1987
  • Pacific Rail News: June 1995, Nov.1995
  • Railfan & Railroad: Jan.1997, Nov. 1994 Jan.1992, Feb.1991, Dec.1989, Nov.1988,Jan.1987
  • RailNews: June 1997
  • Trains: 50th Anniversary Issue Nov.1990, Sept.1989, Dec.1985
  • Trains Illustrated: premiere issue 1988
  • LOKI Magazine (Germany) : “ The Paintings of Ted Rose, “by Peter Gloor, with six paintings, May 1993
  • New Mexico Magazine: Enthusiasm for Trains Colors His Work, “by Arnold Vigil, with five paintings, Sept. 1989