Portraits from Memory Watercolors by Jasper Rose

#167, watercolor by Jasper Rose
#167, watercolor by Jasper Rose

This site presents an extraordinary collection of work, recollections by an accomplished art historian and artist, Jasper Rose, of the people in his life.

British, his childhood was marked by relocation from London to the countryside during the second world war.

He had a long and distinguished career, spending time at Cambridge, Rice University and at UCSC, first as a Senior Preceptor and founding faculty, subsequently Provost at UCSC. He returned to England around 1990, settling in Bath.

In the mid 1990's he started to recapture the people he had encountered by painting small portraits from memory. Often whimsical, often sharp, they are always interesting.

The exhibit has come about organically. In the summer of 2016, Faye Crosby, newly retired after six years as provost of Cowell College, found herself in England. She paid a call on Jean and Jasper Rose in Bath. Jasper showed Faye many of his watercolors painted from memory, and Faye was captivated by the whimsy and wit of the portraits. With a small grant, she was able in 2017 to travel back to Bath with Cheryl Doering and Robert Lange. Eric Thiermann loaned the team some equipment and provided professional guidance so that Robert, Cheryl, and Faye were able to record Jasper’s comments on the people he had painted. Although he was ill at the time of the Americans’ visit, Jasper rallied valiantly and provided as much description as he was able. Subsequently, a team of dedicated students – including Kevin Tie, Emily Aranda, and Ian Johnson – extracted snippets from many of the descriptions and worked to attach the voice recordings to the scans of individual portraits. Robert Lange and Blithe Brandon edited the students’ work, and the result is the electronic file.

The exhibit has been underwritten by generous contributions from Kathleen Rose who shares a name but not a blood line with Jasper and Jean, and also from Sentinel Printers and the Gary D. Licker Memorial Fund. Provost Alan Christy has used grants and contributions to the provost’s discretionary fund to allow the show to be staffed.


Date of exhibition: April 12—June 8, 2019 

Opening Reception: Friday, April 12, 5-7pm.

Open special hours during Alumni Weekend:

April 27, 10am—5pm

April 28, 12pm—5pm


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