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James Alan Rose

James Alan Rose, known by family and friends as Jim, died on February 6, 2023, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, at 56. Jim was born in Beech Grove, Indiana, and spent the majority of his childhood abroad, living in France, Puerto Rico, and England. He attended Bard College in New York briefly before completing a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1988, with a focus in sculpture.


Jim met his future wife, Suzanne, at SAIC, and they became partners in life and art in 1986. They transplanted to southern Door County in 1994, where they settled down and raised their daughter Delilah, enjoyed country living, and feverishly gardened.


Jim was a force in the studio furniture movement for more than three decades. He was a nationally recognized artist with his work in private and public collections from coast to coast, with gallery representation in Chicago, Milwaukee, Pittsburg, Buffalo, and Fish Creek.


As an artist, he was an expert at looking carefully and seeing the world through many lenses. Renowned for his superb craftsmanship, Jim created a minimalist style that honored and was influenced by culturally grounded sensibilities, including those of the American Shaker, Asian, and African American quilting traditions.


Jim spent most of his career making steel furniture though he expanded his portfolio to create a vast collection of small, house-like structures, paper collages, and sculpture.


Jim was a skilled sailor, loved swimming in both Lake Michigan and the Sturgeon Bay canal, and, in recent years, became an avid cyclist. He was fluent in French and Spanish and could mimic a flawless Scouse accent. Forever charming Jim will be remembered for his dry humor and the mischievous sparkle in his eyes.


He is survived by his daughter, (ex) wife, father, sisters, extended family, and many friends – far and wide - who loved him deeply.


Today, Jim’s artworks are held in important private and museum collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; The Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, the Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA, The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, WI, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin, the Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI; the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI, and others.

If so inclined, please make donations in remembrance of Jim Rose to either the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church Annual All Community Thanksgiving Dinner or CERF+.


Please know there is always someone to speak to no matter how heavy the burden – dial 988 or 920-746-2588 for 24-hour Emotional Support, Suicide Prevention, and Crisis Lifeline.

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