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Roy Rosen Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-477

Scope and Content

Roy Rosen was a photographer who worked in the Straight Photography tradition popularized by Edward Weston and other art photographers in the second quarter of the Twentieth Century. During the time that he lived in Santa Fe (1948-1985), Rosen made many photographs of New Mexican architecture, landscapes, Native Americans, and folk art subjects. The collection is divided in accordance with the two main categories Rosen assigned to his work: geographic location and pattern studies. The former were taken during his travels in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The Pattern series are still-life compositional studies. The collection contains a series of black-and-white photographs taken in Sardenia by Guilio Guzzoni. There are also negatives and slides.


  • 1923-1985

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. To view slides and negatives contact the Pictorial Staff.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


Roy Rosen, photographer, was born in New York City in 1893. He was educated in Hebrew schools in New York, but little else is known about his early life.

Rosen lived as a hobo from 1914-1921, riding the rails and keeping extensive journals. Those journals were later lost, but what remained in Rosen's memory, he translated into many short stories. Later in life he resumed the practice of keeping journals, particularly on his frequent travels.

He first became interested in photography in the 1920s when he was acquainted with Edward Weston in California. He did not begin a career in photography, however, before moving to New Mexico in 1948. A self-taught photographer, he was influenced by the work of Weston and Charles Sheeler. Rosen photographed New Mexico and wherever he traveled, including Europe, Mexico and all over the United States. The photographs, along with his journals and stories, make a complete record of Rosen's perceptions.

Rosen's photographic exhibitions included shows at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; University of Texas Art Museum, Austin; and the Colorado Photographic Art Center, Denver. His photographs have appeared in Camera, Luce e Immagini, New Mexico Architecture, University of Texas Quarterly, New Mexico Quarterly, and the Santa Fe Opera Program, among others. Southwest Review published a short story by Rosen, but the bulk of his writings, which he devoted the later part of his life to revising and editing, remain unpublished. Roy Rosen died in Santa Fe in 1986.


2040 plus items (16 boxes) : 2,037 photographic prints, 3 binders of slides

Language of Materials



The majority of the collection consists of photographs taken by Roy Rosen during his travels in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. There are also still life compositional studies by Rosen.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Oversize boxes shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number. Unprocessed additions located in Pictorial Unprocessed.

Separated Material

Photographs were separated from the Roy Rosen Papers.

Both copies of a portrait of Rosen by Margrethe Mather and a large print of Stonehenge by Paul Caponigro have been permanently transferred to the University Art Museum.
Finding Aid of the Roy Rosen Photograph Collection, 1923-1985
Pictorial Collections Staff
© 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131