Skip to main content

Ben Rose collection

Identifier: AG 57

Scope and Contents

This collection was given to the Center after Rose's death in 1980. The bulk of the material consists of photographs, negatives, and slides, with only small amounts documenting Rose's personal life, professional studios, exhibitions, and experiments. With the exception of slides and negatives, the collection was largely unorganized on receipt. Material was sorted and the following series assigned:

Series one: Activity files, circa 1940-1980. Contains correspondence on and calculations for a project on photographing the phases of the Moon; computer print-outs and study prints documenting photographic assignments; a typed, final draft of a home study course in photography offered by Creative Photographers Association (New York); a list of awards given to Rose; and announcements for his exhibitions and studio openings. There is no personal or professional correspondence. Office files, lecture notes, teaching and research files which may have documented his career in advertising, experience with multiple and computer imagery, and photographic experiments are also missing.

Series two: Publications and tearsheets, circa 1940-1980. Contains printed materials by or about Rose, mostly from the 1970s. Also included are photographs, including some record covers, by Rose for such clients as Hiram Walker Imperial Whiskey, Reed and Barton, National Dairy Products Corporation, Esquire, Honeywell, and Playboy. There are articles profiling Rose and his imagery, but none containing a comprehensive biographical portrait of him.

Series three: Photographs, circa 1940-1970s. Contains approximately 346 black-and-white and 194 color prints. Subjects include advertising assignments and multiple image experiments. Matted prints have been separated from unmatted ones; few prints are identified or dated. Some photographs will eventually be transferred to the Center's Fine Print Collection. There is also about 2,400 Polaroid prints, ca.1970s, probably used by Rose as studies for his commercial assignments and photographic experiments.

Series four: Negatives, contact sheets, and transparencies, circa 1955-1976. Includes both black-and-white and color negatives and transparencies, ranging in size from 35 mm. to 8x10 in. The negatives, some with accompanying contact sheets, represent commercial work on such topics as fashion, food, automobiles, and household products. Major clients include Town and Country, Life, Harper's Bazaar, Fortune, Scientific American, and Esquire. Of particular interest are fifty-four 180 and 360 negatives, apparently made with a circuit camera. These negatives, some as large as 10x62 in., depict New York and environs during the 1950s. Negatives have been filed by original numerical order, although many appear missing. A few personal projects (e.g. Christmas cards) are also included. A photocopy of Rose's index cards arranged by client and subject in included.

There are approximately 8,760 35-mm. transparencies, mostly color, detailing Rose's experimental work. Slides have been arranged by Rose's own system which utilized subjects or projects as organizing units. Many, including entire subdivisions, are missing. Box 15 includes a photocopy of Rose's index cards.

Series five: Audio-visual materials, circa 1960-1980. Contains two reel-to-reel videotapes; seven 16 mm. Black-and-white and color films; four 35 mm. color prints and negatives of moving pictures; and five 1/4 in. reel-to-reel magnetic audiotapes. Most supplement Rose's commercial assignments or document his motion studies. The audiotapes record Rose working in his studio and may have served as the soundtrack for a film not included in the collection.

Series six: Equipment, circa 1960s. Included are a Karp Programmer invented by Rose's colleague, Tony Rose, and probably used for control of multiple flash units during a studio session; an auto strobe unit; and three circuit panels. No operating instructions or descriptions of use are present. Other equipment invented and used extensively by Rose (e.g. bicycle wheel strobe units) are not included in the collection.


  • 1940-1980


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Biographical Note

Ben Rose was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1916. He attended the Philadelphia College of Art, studying under Alexy Brodovitch. He began an editorial career at Harper's Bazarar and advertising assignments with N.W. Ayer. Rose worked on photographic techniques that involved use of the circuit camera. He developed a device for triggering strobe lights with radio signals. He served two consecutive terms as President of the American Society of Magazine Photographer. Rose died at age 64 in 1980.


22 Boxes (36 linear feet)

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Activity files, publications and tearsheets, photographs, transparencies, negatives and contact sheets, slides, audio-visual materials, and electronic equipment, 1940-1980, pertaining to the career of Ben Rose (1916-1980), photographer and inventor.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Activity files, circa 1940-1980
  2. Series 2: Publications and tear sheets, circa 1940-1980
  3. Series 3: Photographs, circa 1940-1970s
  4. Series 4: Negatives, contact sheets, and transparencies, circa 1955-1976
  5. Series 5: Audiovisual materials, circa 1960-1980
  6. Series 6: Equipment, circa 1960s

Custodial History

Ben Rose’s widow Miriam Rose beginning in 1982 gave this collection to the Center.

Processing Information

Processed in 1985 by David Peters and Roger Myers, and revised in 1987.

Ben Rose collection, 1940-1980
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2018
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid encoded in English .

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States