The "Second Period" of Rose Hertzberg's career, 1969 - 1997
by Jared Hertzberg, grandson of the artist
In the last thirty years of Mrs. Hertzberg's career, she worked independently,
reduced her teaching activities, and expanded her repertoire beyond oils
in favor of collage and other media. Her travels in
Until the end of her career, Rose remained strongly influenced by the master
abstract expressionist teacher Hans Hofmann, with whom she had trained from
1951 to 1953. She told a reporter in 1976, "I was fortunate enough to be
able to study with Hofmann in
This summary was compiled from publicity materials and newspaper reviews of Rose's work in this period.
Around 1966, Rose developed debilitating arthritis in her hands and arms.
This gave her difficulty holding a brush upright at an easel. To compensate,
she chose to "work flat," creating her artwork on horizontal canvasses, prints
and collage. She told the story of how arthritis influenced her work to a
reporter in a 1969 article in "The Bergen Record" and a 1976 article in a
Rose gave her first major exhibit of collages and prints in 1969 at
In April 1974, at Ben Shahn Hall of William Paterson College, Rose debuted
a bold new style: white-on-white relief collages. Forbidding herself to use
color, she employed only shadow, shape and texture to form these compelling
images. An article the "Bergen Record" relates: "The Ramsey artist explains
that she had worked with colors until returning from
Rose titled this series of white-on-white collages, "Layers of Civilization."
Catalog #257 appears in the brochure for the 1974 show, and other works of
same size (4 ft by 2 ft) also date from this year. Nine large white-on-white
collages and twenty watercolors were exhibited. The press release for this
show emphasizes the effect of foreign vistas on Rose's style: "Much of her
inspiration she attributes to living in
In 1975 Rose continued to exhibit her new collages. In addition to the all-white
compositions, she also made similar pieces with colored forms. At the
In 1976, she showed several relief collages at the Second Story Spring Street
In 1979, Rose began to present a new medium: torn-paper collage. At Womanart
Galleries in NYC and Fullerton Gallery in
In 1980, Rose exhibited in a three-person show (with Shirley Murdoch and
Leonard Sisti) at the Sisti Gallery in
In 1981 Rose began to exhibit large series of hand-made-paper collage. She called the form "low-relief constructions" and had begun to work in this medium in 1979. This work represented a progression of media: from making artwork on paper, to making artwork out of paper, to making her own paper. The poured-paper process allowed her great freedom to control the texture of her medium. In 1981, she exhibited several of these pieces at the Fullerton Gallery along with black-on-black collages. The poured-paper appeared in two series, called "Summer and Smoke" and the "Scroll Series." In the latter series, an article says, "She rolls the edges of both rectangles and circles around short twigs, sometimes singeing them to evoke ancient religious writings." Catalog #376 (shown at the Y/JCC in 2006 as #65) appeared in this show with the title "Web."
Rose held further exhibits of torn paper and handmade paper with the Modern
Artists' Guild in 1982 and at the Fairlawn library,
During this period, Rose continued to make and exhibit art inspired by Jewish
themes. In 1981, one of Rose's watercolors was exhibited at the American
The illness and death in 1993 of her husband Walter stopped Rose from working and exhibiting actively for several years. From 1993-1994, she did very little work. However, starting in 1995, she produced a flurry of new work. Her "Music" series of eleven works in handmade-paper collage appeared at the Back Street Café in Westwood and in a 12-woman show (including such artists as Edna Dagan, Bea Reiman and Gloria Duzogolou) at the YMHA of Wayne. Rose gave the works titles like "Con Brio," "Allegro" and "Adagio." This musical theme had not been prominent in Rose's work since the early 1970s. This series is represented by catalog #340 (shown at the Y/JCC in 2006 as #57) and catalog #341 (shown at the Y/JCC in 2006 as #56).
Rose's last major effort was the "End of Summer" series of 10 works in
poured-paper and found-object collage, which she created in 1996-97 and exhibited
in 1997 at the Fair Lawn library. She also called this the "Bark Series,"
for her heavy use of tree bark in the collage. Rose gave many of the works
musical titles similar to those in her 1995 show. This series includes catalog
#080 (shown at the Y/JCC in 2006 as #1) and catalog #375 (shown at the Y/JCC
in 2006 as #2). This was Rose's last major exhibit before her death five
years later in 2002.
First appearances of various media and
Return to Rose's Home Page