Painter · Photographer
Born April 28, 1878, Reagantown, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Died June 21, 1950, Kingston, New York
Rosen was considering form in relation to warm and cool colors, lost and found edges, all of which contributed to intensify the illusion of space on flat canvas. Abstraction had gained for him a new importance.-John Folinsbee
Charles Rosen was born on a farm in 1878 in Reagantown, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He opened a photographic studio at the age of sixteen in West Newton, in the coal mining region of western Pennsylvania. He moved to New York City in 1898 to enroll in painting classes at the National Academy of Design, where he studied with Francis Coates Jones. While in New York, Rosen took classes at the New York School of Art, where he studied with William Merritt Chase and Frank Vincent DuMond and became interested in landscape painting. In 1903 the artist married Mildred Holden. The couple moved to the New Hope area, where they lived for the next seventeen years.
During his residence in New Hope, Rosen enjoyed close relationships with Daniel Garber and Edward Redfield and became known for his large, vigorously painted Pennsylvania snow scenes. Rosen also enjoyed close friendships with fellow artists William Lathrop and John Folinsbee.
By 1916, Rosen had achieved his mature impressionist style, which often combines a sense of the decorative patterning found in nature, as well as its more dynamic, vigorous aspects. From 1919 until 1921, when the artist began working in a more modern style, he served as an instructor and later director of the Art Students League summer school in Woodstock, New York. He moved permanently to Woodstock in 1920, and became closely associated with the Woodstock Artists Colony. He adopted a cubist-realist style, which would characterize his work until his death in 1950. Rosen's paintings are in the permanent collection of the James A. Michener Art Museum. A rertospective exhibition of his work was held at the Michener Art Museum in New Hope in 2006. The exhibition Form Radiating Life: the Paintings of Charles Rosen was accompanied by a major book on Charles Rosen, written by Brian H. Peterson, Senior Curator at the Michener Art Museum.