Rosa S. Hope Biography

Rosa S. Hope




Painter and printmaker Rosa Somerville Hope was born in Manchester, England, on June 8, 1902. Her mother was a teacher at the Camberwell School of Art and her interest in art was encouraged from an early age. After graduation from the Manchester High School for Girls she enrolled at the Slade School of Art on a scholarship, beginning in 1918. She studied under Henry Tonks, Philip Wilson Steer, and John Wheatley. In 1926, she was awarded the Prix de Rome for her etching, "The Adoration of the Shepherds".

In 1935 Hope traveled to South Africa where her teacher John Wheatley had secured her a teaching position at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. There, she would found the school's printmaking department before accepting a Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts post at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg. In 1939 she was commissioned to design the tableau for the Irene Post Office near Pretoria. From 1938 to 1957 she taught at Natal, traveling frequently throughout the Drakensberg wildlands to sketch and paint. Hope exhibited throughout the UK and South Africa, including the New English Art Club, the Redfern Gallery, Old Bond Street Grosvenor Galleries; and with the South African Society of Artists, among others. She is sometimes considered a part of "De Nuwe Groep" (The New Group), post-Impressionist artists living in South Africa in the early 20th century.

Hope continued to live and work in South Africa until her death on May 7, 1972, in Kokstad.

Memberships: Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (Associate); Society of Graphic Art; Hampstead Society of Artists; Print Collector's Club; South African Society of Artists.