"Mission San Jose" Prior to its reconstruction

  • Biography

    Carolyn Rose Harpham (1910-1969)

    Carolyn Rose Harpham was born on November 26, 1910, in Devine, Texas (near San Antonio) to Harry and Dollie Harpham. She was a resident of San Antonio, Texas. Everyone who knew her called her "Rose".

    She began her painting career early in her life. She became a student of Jose (Y Perea) Arpa when she was a teenager. She enrolled at his "San Antonio Art School" in the early 1920"s and studied landscape, floral and portrait painting in the impressionist style. She participated and painted at his first art camp, the Jose Arpa "First Painter's Colony of Texas at Waring Hills" held in April 1925, located not far from San Antonio. Her photograph was displayed with Jose Arpa and a few of his student artists (Clara Caffery Pancoast, Clifton H. Tupper and Margot Glaze) in a San Antonio Express Newspaper society column article about the art camp dated April 12, 1925. Rose was an active and involved student at the San Antonio Art School and participated in many of the school's community related activities serving as an artist and host at the functions. She was involved in the annual Jose Arpa summer art camps that were started in 1925, as a painter, instructor and sometimes as in the May 1928 Art Colony School held at Camp Waldemar outside of Kerrville, Texas, as one of its directors. The art camps drew student and practicing artists not only from Texas but all parts of the country.

    Rose was affiliated with the Southern States Art League. She exhibited at the Texas Artists Exhibition, The San Antonio Art League in 1926, the San Antonio Artists Guild in 1927, the Annual Texas Artists Exhibition in Fort Worth in 1927, The Edgar B. Davis Competitions in San Antonio in 1927 and 1929, The Southern States Art League Annual Exhibitions in 1928 & 1932, The San Antonio Local Artists Annual Exhibitions in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934, the Witte Memorial Museum of San Antonio, The Leon Springs Art Colony Exhibitions in 1929 & 1930, the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium/San Antonio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Exhibit in 1930, The San Pedro Municipal Playhouse Art Gallery in San Antonio in 1926 and The San Antonio Artists Guild 3rd Annual Spring Exhibition in 1932 at the Witte Memorial Museum. She also exhibited through some of the local San Antonio galleries such as The Collins Art Shop & Saunders Gallery (located in the Gunther building) and the Bright Shawl Art Gallery.

    Rose had the distinct honor of three of her paintings being chosen by a selection committee for entry into the Davis Wildflower Competitions held in San Antonio in 1927 and 1929. Her impressionist style and use of bright colors strongly reflected the influence of her teacher and mentor Jose Arpa. She painted and entered competitions and exhibitions continuously from the mid 1920's to the mid 1930's and continued to stay involved in the San Antonio art community.

    Carolyn Rose Harpham died on July 2, 1969, in San Antonio, Texas.


    Dictionary of Texas Artists, 1800 - 1945; Paula and Michael R. Grauer; 1999; 240 pages.
    Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists, A Biographical Dictionary of Artists in Texas Before 1942; John & Deborah Powers; 2000; 606 pages.
    Texas Art and a Wildcatter's Dream; William E. Reaves Jr.; 1998; 92 pages.
    The San Antonio Express Newspaper (general research)
    The San Antonio Express Newspaper, Sunday morning, 10/20/29 (Leon Springs Art Colony Exhibition 11/16/29 & 11/17/29)
    The San Antonio Express Newspaper, society section D-11, page 15, 11/22/30 (Leon Springs Art Colony Exhibition 01/22/30 & 11/23/30)
    The San Antonio Express Newspaper, Sunday morning, page 9, 03/28/30 (San Antonio Municipal Auditorium/American Institute of Architects Exhibition 3/30/30)
    The San Antonio Express Newspaper, Sunday morning, page 19, 04/17/32 (San Antonio Artists Guild 3rd Annual Spring Exhibition Witte Memorial Museum 04/16/32
    The San Antonio Light Newspaper (general research)
    The San Antonio Light Newspaper, section B, front page, vol. LII, No. 228, 09/02/32 (The San Antonio Artists Guild 3rd Annual Spring Exhibition, Witte Memorial Museum)
    The San Antonio Light Newspaper, society section, 11/01/26 (Bright Shawl, Fall & Winter Season, San Antonio, Texas)
    The San Antonio Light Newspaper, society section, 6-B, 12/14/26 (Bright Shawl, San Antonio, Texas)
    The San Antonio Light Newspaper, Sunday, Part 2, page 7, 04/29/28 (Rose as an artist and Director at the 1928 Jose Arpa Art Camp)
    The San Antonio Light Newspaper, page 3A, 01/28/30 (San Pedro Municipal Playhouse Art Gallery/San Antonio Chapter of the American Architects of America Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas)
    The Kerrville Mountain Sun Newspaper (general research)

    Information courtesy of James W. Clark