"Life Imitates Art"
A Salute to Ted Rose (1940-2002)

In the winter of 2006, the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) recognized the work of Ted Rose, a nationally known watercolor artist, by exhibiting a selection of his photographs and watercolor paintings.

  click to enlarge
"PRAIRIE FIRES (1996)" / 2010 Ted Rose Studio

click to enlarge coverThis exhibition was announced in CSRM's official newsletter "On Track!", Fall/Winter 2006 edition. The cover featured Rose's "Prairie Fires (1996)", the original 14"x20" watercolor of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway scene being privately owned. 

  click to enlarge
"WESTBOUND AT LINXI, 2004" / 2004 Henry Posner III
"In October 2004, I was able to ride a double-headed westbound on China's JiTong Railway over Jingpeng Pass. As it turned out, this was on the eve of dieselization of what most consider to have been the world's last steam mainline.

"One of my photos from this trip is the service stop at Linxi (left) en route to the Pass. Upon return to the USA the photo was one of several digitized by Bill Metzger as part of a calendar project. But this one caught his attention in a special way, and with the application of digital wizardry an image was created that "looked like a Ted Rose painting." And so we agreed that the image should be dedicated in memory of Ted. 

"A few years later I saw Ted Rose's Prairie Fires on the above cover and I couldn't help but notice its spooky resemblance to my Westbound at Linxi, 2004

"Life really does imitate art!"
-- Henry Posner III
  "When mainline Chinese steam was on its way out, Henry was fortunate enough to visit China and return with a collection of excellent steam action slides. There were enough, as it happened, to make a calendar and Henry asked me to make the digital scans, which given the subject, I was more than happy to do.

"One of the slides struck a familiar chord; I felt like I had seen it somewhere before. Then it hit me that it bore a remarkable resemblance to one of Ted Rose's watercolors. Whether it was in a publication or a calendar, I don't remember where I saw it, but I've been a fan of Rose's work ever since I saw his first cover in Classic Trains and have seen and admired quite a few of his paintings since.

"There is a Photoshop filter called dry brush which gives a photo the appearance of a watercolor and this shot was a natural. So after scanning the slide, I applied the dry brush filter, then a bit of touching up (not much was needed), and the result is what you see above. Placed side by side, the resemblance is uncanny, especially since the two pictures were made half a world apart. A tribute, I suppose, to the universal appeal of steam."
-- Bill Metzger, Contributing Illustrator, TRAINS magazine

Other tributes:

Ted Rose Memorial Program | Center for Railroad Photography & Art

Ted Rose Biography | California State Railroad Museum (PDF 339k)





[Photo Gallery Main Menu]


2000-2010 Railroad Development Corporation
All photographs are the property of RDC unless otherwise noted.  Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.