Rose: UC Santa Cruz
Rose: Cowell College
Rose: Porter College
Rose: Cambridge, England
Jasper Rose: Bath, England
Rose: Art History, Painting
English Cambridge Education to the
University of California, Santa Cruz Redwoods
"Enflaming the young and
challenging the University..."
by Jack Daley
Allison Rose (1930-2019)
Jasper Allison Rose
was born in 1930 in London, England. Jasper received his B.A. and M.A.
from King's College, Cambridge. With John Ziman, Jasper co-authored a
Camford Observed: An Investigation of the Ancient
Universities in the Modern World, that was published in January 1964.
It is an entertaining account of university life at Oxford and
Cambridge that contains ideas that would have a major impact on the
formation of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Jasper was a
founding faculty member of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Cowell College in 1965. He was the second Provost of Cowell College
from 1970-1974. After nine more years at Cowell, he became a faculty
member of Porter College (formerly College V) at UCSC at the start of
the 1983-84 academic year. He became an Emeritus Professor of Art,
History, and History of Art and Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz at the
end of the 1985-86 academic year at the age of 56. He retired back to
England to devote himself to art. He devoted much of his time to
painting (often of landscapes and portraits), and to illustrating
poetry. He first resided in the English countryside near the village
of Wingfield in the county of Wiltshire (ten miles from the city of
Bath). In 1998 he moved into the city of Bath. Sadly, Jasper
passed away at the age of 89 in Bath, England in 2019.
historian, and historian
Jasper has been very much admired by his former
students as a teacher, mentor, artist, art historian, and historian.
His former students know his extraordinary personality is full of
friendliness, flair, good taste, wit, humor, kindness and generosity.
Jasper has a lightning-quick mind of amazing wit that includes the
ability to imitate and caricature people. His extraordinary talents
brought fourth extremely entertaining and humorous performances one
right after another. His obvious talents in the visual arts are
strongly supported by a deep commitment to literature, poetry and
music. Page Smith said that Jasper's English gentleman's accent (fine
tuned at Cambridge) gave him "the unique ability to make an
announcement about dirty laundry an epic of eloquence."
Jasper Rose: Parents and
Jasper's father was William Rose (1894-1961), a Professor of German
who simultaneously attained the positions of Chair of German Language
and Literature at the University of London, and the Head of the
Department of Modern Languages at the London School of Economics. As a
student, he was educated at the Birmingham Hebrew School, then the
King Edward VI Grammar School, Birmingham, and went on to attend
Birmingham and London Universities. In the First World War he served
with the Royal Warwickshire Infantry Regiment, the Machine Gun Corps
of the Royal Army and then with the RAF until 1920. He obtained his
doctorate from London University with a thesis on Goethe and Byron,
which was published in 1924. Jasper's father was a scholar, editor,
translator and critic of German Literature. He focused on the work of
Goethe, Heine and Rilke, but he also worked on the modern German lyric
and the Expressionists. He was very much dedicated to providing
education to the poor and disadvantaged. In 1926 he married Jasper's
mother, Dorothy Wooldridge who also worked in the field of translation
and literature. Dorothy was educated at Newnham College (a women's
constituent college) at Cambridge. Jasper described his mother
as "a tall woman of tremendous grandeur, capable of immense
indignations." "She was a formidable person." Together Jasper's parents would translate the biographical book
Balzac written by
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) and edited by
(1896-1979) in 1946. Friedenthal tells an extraordinary story about
completing the book. In the Second World War Jasper's father
served with the Royal Army Intelligence Corps in France, Egypt, and
England from 1939 to 1946.
London in 1930
Jasper was born in London on March 10, 1930,
and had an older sister.
William and Dorothy Rose lived with their two
children at 81 Brook Green, Hammersmith, London. Brook Green is
a charming London neighborhood in the Hammersmith area of the London
Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. It is located approximately 3.6
miles (5.8 km) west of Charing Cross and is bordered by Kensington,
Shepherd's Bush, Holland Park and Brackenbury Village. Notable
past residents included John Milton (1608–1674) and William Morris
Jasper’s mother Dorothy was secretary to Sir
John Squire (1884–1958) for a time in the 1930s and he became a
longtime friend of the family. He was a writer, poet and historian who
became best known for being the editor of the London Mercury literary
magazine between the world wars. In his personal life he sometimes had
a weakness for alcoholic beverages. Sir John was known as "Jack" to
the Rose family, and became Jasper’s godfather. Jasper discussed his
Jasper: "I was a very poetic and beautiful
child with ringlets, and large eyes. I feel that I never had a
childhood. Going to school was a searing process. I first went to
school when I was 1 ½ years old to a school of monumental savagery.
The school was in the country, and I was an unhealthy child, and had
to go back every year. (Jasper described it as a "baby farm" in the
Cottswolds. He had humorous stories to tell of the traumas that he and
the other children experienced during potty training.) I don't have
much in the way of nightmares, but I have one recurrent dream of being
torn from my family and having to go back someplace I don't want to
go. There I gained my love of the country, and a loathing for my
contemporaries which has recurred throughout my life. I like people
who are younger or older than myself. Professors are in some sense, my
contemporaries. But, my interest in landscape was formed there. Why, I
sometimes feel that in a previous incarnation I was the splendidly
eager cow. I love foliage." (Jasper was very much influenced by the
painting of John Constable and William Turner. For more than ten years
Jasper taught extraordinary classes on the "History of Landscape
Painting" with fellow Cowell faculty member, Mary Holmes (1911-2002).
Jasper collaborated with Mary on many other classes and projects.)
While looking at a landscape vista from Jim Bierman's home in Santa
Cruz, Jasper once said, "Do you realize you can see 243 shades of
green from here?"
illustration at a young age
Jasper: "I was taught to adore George Cruikshank (1792-1878) [the
illustrator of Dickens' Oliver Twist] at my father's knee, and have
always been fascinated by book illustration." Jasper told Cheryl Doering that when Jasper was 7 or 8-years old and still living with
his family, he took art lessons from a very famous illustrator who was
a friend of his parents. Jasper was always impatient for them to
start. He was however under strict instructions to not disturb the man
until after he had had his post prandial nap on the family divan. So,
Jasper would station himself on the floor right next to the divan and
would roll his pencil back and forth repeatedly until his mission was
Jasper’s ambition at this age was to become a
Jasper's father had
a vast knowledge of German Literature. However, when Jasper's father
started to give him a lesson in elemental German, a very minor
disagreement on how to proceed occurred, and at that point Jasper
decided that he did not want to learn German, and never did.
Jasper: "I went to a series of girl's schools" (The last one in the
series was Latimer High School for Girls) "because my mother felt that
since my sister was already there, it was convenient… At the same time
I was hopelessly spoiled by all of these girls… My sister was a big
hit, but I was a disaster." (The initials of the name Jasper
Allison Rose spells JAR, and Jasper’s sister started calling him
Jasper the Jam Jar.) "I used to be known as Jasper the Jam Jar,
and when that would make me cry, they called me Rose Water Aromatic
Water Butt." (In the United Kingdom a "water butt" is
literally a large barrel for collecting
Jasper: When I finally went to a boy's school, I found it
difficult, because they were rough and used bad language and obviously
knew all about sex in a way I didn't."
Jasper Rose: Family's help for Jewish refugees
At London University, Jasper's father participated in protests
concerning Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews, intellectuals and of
cultural life generally in Germany. And, from the time that Hitler
first came to power in 1933 onward he took a personal interest in the
fate and welfare of German exiled intellectuals such as film director
and producer Leopold Jessner
(1878-1945), and writers
Neumann (1897-1975) and
(1881-1942). Jasper remembers Leopold Jessner as
having the personality of an "ecstatic hippopotamus."
American filmmaker Wes Anderson (1969- ) said that he
stole the story lines for his 2014 movie The Grand Budapest Hotel
(which won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay) from Stefan Zweig,
and even based two of the characters in the movie on Zweig himself.
Jasper: "It was 1938. German and Italian Jewish refugees were
living at our house. My father was a university teacher and translator
of German and French. Many were people who he knew through his work."
We had lots and lots of refugees that came through.
Richard Friedenthal was one of the prized pupils of my father. He was a
refugee from the Germany of Hitler."
Ginetta Ortona was an Italian
dramatist who had fled Mussolini’s Fascist Italian government's
repression of Jews and was living with the Rose family in London.
Jasper found her very charming. Jasper was 8-years old in 1938.
Here are some headlines to which he was referring:
February 1938 – Hitler demanded self-determination for all German
in Austria and the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.
March 1938 – Nazi Germany seized and annexed Austria in the "Anschluss."
The laws of Germany, including its anti-Semitic laws, were quickly
applied to Austria.
Summer and Fall 1938 – The Czech Crisis culminated at the end of
September when the Munich Accord is signed by Germany (Hitler), Italy
(Mussolini ), Great Britain (Chamberlain) and France (Daladier) and
excluded the Czechs. The next day Czechoslovakia capitulated. British
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared: "peace for our time."
November 9, 1938 – Kristallnacht in Germany: in one-night, Nazis
burned synagogues, destroyed Jewish shops and killed Jews at random.
The night became known as "Kristallnacht," the night of the broken
In March 1939, Hitler annexed the rest of the Czech lands in
Bohemia and Moravia, with Slovakia becoming a puppet state of Germany.
Chamberlain issued an Anglo-French guarantee of armed support for
Poland should Germany invade Poland. In April 1939 Chamberlain
instituted peacetime military conscription for the first time in
British history. Britain and France, worked together on joint military
planning, and continued rearming in preparation for a possible war
with Germany. The German Army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939,
which started the Second World War in Europe.
Jasper Rose: Second World War experiences
Jasper: I had just arrived at the school when it was evacuated to
the countryside, where we struggled with the blackout." The evacuation
of civilians in Britain during the Second World War was designed to
protect people, especially children, from the risks associated with
aerial bombing of cities by moving them to rural areas. Operation Pied
Piper, which began on September 1, 1939, (before the declaration of
war) officially relocated more than 3.5 million people. Blackout
regulations were also imposed on September 1, 1939. These required all
windows and doors to be covered at night to prevent any glimmer of
light that might aid enemy aircraft. External lights such as street
lights were switched off, or dimmed and shielded to deflect light
downward. Essential lights such as traffic lights and vehicle
headlights were fitted with slotted covers to deflect their beams
downwards toward the ground.
Jasper: "I heard Britain's declaration of war by Chamberlain on the
radio in the parlor of my teacher. 'She said now children, you mustn't
worry, but of course things are going to get tough.'" Jasper was
referring to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's address on
September 3, 1939 concerning Britain's announcement of a declaration
of war against Nazi Germany: "This morning the British Ambassador in
Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that, unless
we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to
withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between
us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received,
and that consequently this country is at war with Germany."
School was also called Abingdon School (the name used today)
Jasper: "I was very upset at boarding school [Roysse's School and also
called Abingdon School in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, graduating in 1942].
I wrote to my mother to take me home, and she didn't. She never
realized how truly miserable I was there. I was left there at half
term, and taken on my first formal shoot, and it repelled me. Down
would fall a maimed bird, to be picked up by some perfectly horrid
beast of a dog who would slobber in nutritious ecstasy." Jasper was 9
years old in 1939.
Jasper: "Mr. W.M. Grundy was the headmaster of my school, Roysee's
School, Abingdon. He was a great chess player. He use to just sit
there [at the chessboard]. The boys would rotate around him, and he
would polish them off, one at a time."
Earlier in 1939, Jasper's father started serving with the Royal Army's
Intelligence Corps to help oppose Nazi Germany's military aggression
in Europe , and went to France as part of the British Expeditionary
Force (BEF). His knowledge of German and French would have been very
valuable to the British in France facing Germany.
Evacuated with the British Army from Dunkirk in 1940
Jasper: "In 1940, my father came home, via Dunkirk, having spent three
or four days on boats." The BEF was disastrously defeated by the Nazi
blitzkrieg in the spring of 1940, and 200,000 soldiers of the BEF were
evacuated by sea from the French city of Dunkirk across the English
Channel back to Britain in 700 civilian owned small boats and in
larger naval ships. The evacuation took place from May 26 to June 4,
1940, and became known as the "Miracle of Dunkirk."
British code-breakers at Bletchley Park in 1942
Jasper: "And, my father went off [with the British Army] again, round
Africa to Egypt." After Egypt, Jasper's father returned to England in
1942 and joined British German-language specialists as an Intelligence
Officer, and went to work on the very secret project of code-breaking
the German military's Enigma encryption device at Bletchley Park,
England until 1944. (Alan Turing was the most important figure in the
breaking of the German Enigma cipher at Bletchley Park and is
considered to be the father of modern computing.) Jasper became
convinced his father was a spy because he was constantly speaking
German, and would disappear for days a time. In fact, he went
off to Bletchley to translate encrypted German messages in the utmost
secrecy. Being able to read encrypted German military messages was an
extremely vital part of the British and Allied war effort, and
shortened the war by years and saved countless lives.
From 1944 to 1946, Jasper's father worked on
Nazi war crimes trials involving crimes committed in Germany and
Austria, and also on the post war rehabilitation of Germany,
particularly in the areas of education and the "German psyche."
At age 12, Jasper was able to speak in continuous rhymed conversation
with his father.
English Village of Sutton Courtenay
With the start of the Second World War in
1939, Jasper and his fellow students were evacuated to the English
countryside for fear of the aerial bombardment of the whole city of
London by the German Luftwaffe. For the same reason, Jasper's
mother Dorothy left London for her rural English village of Sutton
Courtenay. And, German high explosive bombs did fall on Brook
Green in London during the 1940-41 Blitz. Jasper's father William had
left London in 1939 to be deployed with the British Army.
Jasper: "My mother's village was Sutton
Courtenay where we had a cottage." (It was about 12 miles from Oxford,
and about 3 miles from Jasper's school in Abingdon.) "We had a great garden, a huge
kitchen garden, vegetables and that sort of thing, which was tended by
the gardener, Mr. Pizzy." From nine years old, when Jasper
was not away at boarding school, he lived with his family at their
cottage in Sutton Courtenay.
Jasper: "There was rationing during and after the Second World War. All the ladies would line up and push each
other forward in order to gain their ration, and the butcher in a
rather suitable costume, would cut meat up into smaller and smaller
bits for them."
Cheltenham Gentleman's School
Jasper: "Then, I went to a military school at age about 14."
(The year was 1944, during the Second World War). "I got to like some of my contemporaries and
started to paint, though I had an art teacher (Arthur Bell) who thought Monet was
daring. Impressionism was still a frightening phenomenon. It was a
gentleman's school [Cheltenham Gentleman's College, Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire], so we were taught not to lie and to be kind to
people, and that character was more important than intellect. Although
there was a group of boys who formed a sinister club that listened to
Lieutenant in the Royal Army Educational Corps
Jasper: "I began to dread that the war wouldn't stop before I had to
fight in it. And, then I was in." (Jasper started serving in the
Royal Army in 1948, and by that time the war was over). "They thought I was officer material.
I didn't. I would avoid bayonet practice, and close my eyes and
deliberately miss. Two months later I was an education officer on my
way to the Far East. I taught everything from four-year-old children
to the local enlisted Chinese from Hong Kong." Britain did not
completely demobilize in 1945, and conscription continued after the
war. Jasper was officially commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the
Royal Army Educational Corps on November 13, 1948 at age 18. Near the
end of 1948, Jasper sailed from Southampton on the Royal Army troop
transport ship HMT Dunera for Colombo (Ceylon/Sri Lanka), and would
eventually sail on to the Far East. A friend of Jasper's named Kenneth
(Ken) Sidney Dodsworth, started at King's College, Cambridge in 1949. Ken wrote that both he and Jasper started a year of required military
service in the Royal Army Educational Corps together. By chance, they
were both headed for King's College (along with another friend named
Jasper: "I taught illiterate middle-age soldiers how to read. Huge
people puzzling over the 'cat sat on the mat.' They would get it and
say, 'A bit juvenile isn't it, sir?'"
Cambridge University as a student
Jasper: "My college [King's College, Cambridge] asked for my release,
and the British establishment being what it was, the Army released me.
It was beautiful walking into Cambridge, like entering a special kind
of heaven." It is very hard to imagine Jasper as a cog in
the wheel of a military establishment. It must have been a profoundly liberating experience for
Jasper to leave the dehumanized, austere, unfeeling, regimented,
strictly disciplined, and no funny business military life behind.
Jasper: "We had a small coterie, self-consciously literate." In
Camford Observed, Jasper wrote : "There are coterie's in all
[Oxbridge] colleges. The beaglers, the boaters, the poets, the
philosophers, the godlies, the grandees sit, in their little bunches
in hall, club together to hire punts, generally live in each other's
pockets. But few of these cliques are mutually exclusive and they are
seldom based on faculty affiliations. Though the Arts men and the
Science men lead quite different lives, one of the great boons of the
college system is that in their social life they are always being
brought together. Both in Oxbridge and outside, the colleges are
always being credited with magic qualities which to any close but
detached observer they do not seem to possess. But for the brilliant
undergraduate with an ebullient and expansive mind and temperament
they act as a liberating forces little short of magical."
student life at King's College
Jasper: "In many ways, I wasted time as an undergraduate, but I
enjoyed it. There was Hock and Burgundy to discover." In Camford
Observed, Japser wrote: "…[regarding] the flavour of what and how one
learns [as an undergraduate at Oxbridge:] The argument that the
essence of an Oxbridge education is it's unconsciousness autodidactic
quality may sound like a week and specious piece of lazy-minded
special pleading; none the less in the experience of many people it is
true. One picks up many things at Oxbridge without noticing the fact.
Some of them are utterly trivial like learning to judge wine, or how
to punt. Others are of much greater significance. One begins, for
instance to appreciate the qualities of great architecture, or one
comes to understand the ideas and feelings which inform music." (A
punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use
on small rivers. A punter propels the punt by pushing against the
river bed with a pole. Jasper would have gone punting on the Cam River
in Cambridge. "Punting is not as easy as it looks. As in rowing, you
soon learn how to get along and handle the craft, but it takes long
practice before you can do this with dignity and without getting the
water all up your sleeve," wrote author Jerome K. Jerome)
world of King's College, Cambridge
Jasper: "And, there was declaiming Milton (1608-1674) and Keats
(1795-1821) from the punts. We were devoted to poetry and parties, and
eventually women broke in a bit. E. M. Forster" (1870-1970) came to
live in King's [College] in 1950 and the rampant snobbery of it all.
'Aren't you going to Morgan's party?' 'Isn't Morgan going to drop by
later?' We set up a club to read papers. I wrote one on
Thackeray (1811-1863). And, there were parties – and invited the Dons.
Foster came. The highlight was when Forster put on a party and read to
us from his unpublished unfinished novel. Not the homosexual one, but
the other. I can't remember its name." Jasper was also in the
circle of the English painter and printmaker Cecil Collins (1908–1989)
and British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist
Francis Crick (1916–2004).
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962
was awarded jointly to Crick, James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh
Frederick Wilkins "for their discoveries concerning the molecular
structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information
transfer in living material," specifically the double-helix structure
of DNA. Crick called his residence on the Portugal Place alleyway in
Cambridge “The Golden Helix,” and displayed a yellow DNA sculpture
above his front door. Crick’s wife Odile was an artist whose original
sketch of DNA's double helix became a symbol of modern molecular
biology. While Jasper was employed by King’s College to teach, he also
lived very nearby on Portugal Place.
Cecil Collins, English painter and printmaker, who was originally
associated with the Surrealist
movement, but came to have a mystical outlook on art and was
influenced by the prophetic writings of William Blake and by American
artist Mark Tobey. In 1947 Collins published his book The Vision of
the Fool, in which he explained his philosophy of art and life. He
attacked the "great spiritual betrayal" of the modern world, an "the
betrayal of the love and worship of life by the dominance of the
scientific-technical view of life in practically all the fields of
human experience." He believed that the artist, together with the poet
and the saint, are "the vehicle of the continuity of that life, and
its guardian and his instrument is the myth and the archetypal image."
Jasper said that when he started as a student at King's he would
frequently come across Alan Turing (1912-1954) when he would go off on
"one of his famous runs" at Cambridge, and they would exchange a
greeting. All of the work at Bletchley Park during the war in the
breaking of the German military's Enigma code was classified as top
secret until the 1970s. Jasper's father died in 1961. It's very likely
that Jasper's father would have met Turing at Bletchley Park. And,
Jasper was friends with Humphry Trevelyan (1909-1964) who was a
Lecturer in German at Cambridge, and was someone who his father knew
well. Humphry also worked at Bletchley Park during the war. While
working with a group of translators on a decoded German military
message that was being translated into English, Humphry said
humorously: "…That's not how Goethe would have put it." Humphry was
the youngest son of G.M. Trevelyan (1876-1962), who also was at
Cambridge at this time and serving as the Master of Trinity College.
Jasper painted a portrait from memory of each of the Trevelyans
Art, life, and love
Jasper: "I soon had my first gallery show, and the paintings begin to
sell. "I was torn between becoming a professor and becoming a painter.
My critical stance on the University is part of my having made a
terrible mistake getting into it. Some of my friends and I were now
going from party to party and I was very susceptible. One friend had
proposed to six different girls in one evening. At one, I saw coming
towards me a teeny fairy, a bright eyed vision baring jam tarts –
Jean" (his wife Jean Melville Rose). "I was 21" (the year was 1951).
"I didn't know then how gifted a painter she was. She was a beautiful
drop of dew of incomparable purity, both then and now." (Jasper and
Jean were married in Cambridge in 1954.)
Jasper: "I had had a terrible short love episode. I thought I'd
treated the girl so badly she was bound to commit suicide. Of course,
she was right as rain. I don't remember what I did – Prematurely
nudged a bosom or something and then said something about her parents.
I went for a long walk in the woods, and came to a chapel and prayed.
And then I had to go to a tutorial. The teacher looked at me and said,
'You look awful. Don't say a word. I'll get out the brandy.' I had
some, and then realized that of course she wouldn't commit suicide,
everything would be alright. And I've always tried to provide
undergraduates with the same kind of thing, and realize their
emotional life has to take precedence over their intellectual life."
Jasper wrote in Camford Observed: "Almost all Oxbridge colleges regard
the teaching of their undergraduates as the prime justification of
their existence, and take their educational duties with great
seriousness. They put their best efforts into building up a balanced
and brilliant staff of teachers. They watch over the fortunes of
individual undergraduates with intense care, are prepared to lavish
endless time in sorting out their academic troubles, and take a strong
personal pride in their successes in the examinations. College
Teaching Fellows are quite patently full of pastoral zeal. They ask
their pupils to tea, to sherry, to dinner; they lend them, sometimes
even give them, books; so conscientious so punctilious, so concerned
are they that on the day of Finals" [at Oxford] "or the Tripos" [exam
at Cambridge] "they have been known to dash around to the rooms of all
their men both in college and in lodgings, at eight o'clock in the
morning to make sure that they are up, and well, and prepared and to
wish them good luck."
Jasper : "My first lecture was a disaster. By the second, I was down
from seven students to three. If they'd left I suspect I'd have been
sufficiently conscientious to have lectured to the thin air."
University of Keele:
aspirations deflated by disastrous administration"
Jasper: "Then I did two years at a provincial University, which was
rather like UCSC – pious aspirations deflated by disastrous
administration." Jasper taught at University of Keele in England in
1955 and 1956. Keele University was created in 1949 to overcome the
division between arts and sciences, and to overcome what Sir Walter
Moberly called the "evil of departmentalism."
Cambridge University as a teacher
Jasper: "Then I came back to Cambridge and edited the university
journal." (Jasper had come back to King's College, Cambridge as a
Research Fellow and Proctor in 1957. The journal was The Cambridge
Review, A Journal of University Life and Thought, where he also worked
with John Ziman.) "We doubled its circulation in a year. We were
instrumental in getting sociology introduced and Latin dropped. I
regard both of these things now as dreadful mistakes. And, it's my
belief that English literature shouldn't be taught at Universities
because it's taught so badly that it takes all the pleasure from it."
At Cambridge, Jasper now learned the duties of being a Proctor: how to
project himself in an imposing, formal, and proper manner to correct
any transgression of accepted rules or standards. According to Camford
Observed, being a Proctor introduced Jasper into the "stuffier and
seamier sides of University life."
Camford Observed: An
Investigation of the Ancient Universities in the Modern World
Jasper: "Then, with John Ziman, I wrote Camford Observed, a funny book
that describes Oxford and Cambridge to Americans and other foreigners
who might have trouble understanding its customs. It caused quite a
stir, and people like Anthony Powell" (writer 1905-2000) "and Hugh
Trevor-Roper" (historian 1914-2003) "reviewed it. It was the busiest
year of my life – Jean's first show and our first son." From Anthony
Powell's review in the Telegraph: "Sometimes very funny indeed, and
knowledgeable, without being in the least esoteric." From Hugh
Trevor-Roper's review in the Sunday Times: "Full of sound
and happy aphorisms. Beautifully written." H.C. Dent's review in the
Financial Times: "Will infuriate, exasperate, excite and delight." The
Review in The Times (no byline): "So good. In places deliciously
funny." Michael Young's review in The Guardian: "A valuable guide to the
two universities. Well informed, well argued, and irritating."
Camford Observed uses the word "Camford" in the title, but the word
does not appear anywhere else in the book. Instead, the word
"Oxbridge" is used to describe the two universities as a single
entity. A book called Oxford Observed was published by an
author named Thomas Sharp in
1952. By using the word "Camford" in the title, any potential
confusion between the two books was prevented.
Jasper created much of text to his Camford
Observed book by dictating to his mother. By that time in her life
she had become quite a heavy woman. While Jasper was dictating to
her, suddenly the chair in which she was sitting broke and she fell to
the floor. She stood right back up, kicked the broken chair aside,
sat in another nearby chair and said to Jasper without missing a beat,
“As you were saying…”
Published a biography on an
author of children's books:
In 1965 Jasper also published a biography entitled Lucy Boston. Lucy Boston
(1892-1990) was a close family friend in Cambridge and was a popular
author of children's books, and Jasper's book about her discusses her
children's stories. In "A Note about the Author (Jasper)" it states:
"As a child he did not enjoy children's books. With a few very
important exceptions, he still prefers those written for grown-ups.
But then, as a child, he did not much care for rice pudding or junket
or Turkish delight. He still doesn't." Jasper's first son, William
Balthazar Melville Rose was born in 1961, and his second son, Inigo
Maclaurin Rose was born in 1963.
In the early 1960s Jasper also wrote essays for Time & Tide,
weekly political and literary magazine founded by Margaret, Lady
Rhondda in 1920. Over the years, Time & Tide, had contributors that
included D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, George
Orwell, and many others. Some essay titles by Jasper: Herr Durer, I
presume, The Stones of Rome, Among the primeval forests, Not the
cheapest of hobbies, From prodigy to institution, and Four thousand
John Ziman, a friend at Cambridge
Jasper's friend, John Ziman (1925-2005) pursued a varied career as an
expert in solid state physics, as a leading thinker and writer on the
philosophy and history of science, and as a prominent campaigner for
the social responsibility of scientists. At Oxford he received a
doctorate in Mathematics and Physics at Balliol. In 1954, he was
appointed to a lectureship in Physics at Cambridge, and a fellowship
at King's. There he carried out fundamental research into the theory
of electrical and magnetic properties of solid and liquid metals which
earned his election to the Royal Society in 1967. Ziman proceeded to
undertake an interest in wider social issues. In 1958-59 he edited the
Cambridge Review and in 1964 co-authored with Jasper, Camford
Observed. And, in 1964, he was appointed Professor of Theoretical
Physics at Bristol University. He became best known to the general
public in the early 1980s when he spearheaded a campaign for British
scientists to take a public stand over the treatment of their
colleagues in the Soviet Union who, for political reasons, had been
dismissed from their posts and prevented from traveling or teaching.
Ziman quoted "my old friend Jasper Rose" in his 1981 book Puzzles,
Problems and Enigmas: "Ideas move around inside people. (Science
learning and culture diffuse from country to country through personal
travel, pilgrimage, and exile.)"
Cambridge School of Art
At King's College, Cambridge Jasper was becoming more interested in
painting and art, and less interested in history, and his fellowship
at Cambridge was running out. Cambridge University did not have an Art
Department, nor a formal program in Art History. So, Jasper left
King's College at Cambridge University to accept a teaching position
at the Cambridge School of Art, where he was hired to teach museum
studies, history of art and drawing.
Jasper had plans to publish a dissertation on
“The Noble Savage and Early European Responses.” However, a series of
events would overtake those plans.
Jasper Rose: Rice University, Houston, Texas
Jasper: "Through a friend [at Cambridge] came and offer from a Houston
University [in the United States]. They [Rice University] offered what
seemed like an astronomical figure, three times what I was getting
from Cambridge. We went off knowing nothing about Houston or America,
with a two-year-old child and one six months old." Jasper taught at
Rice University as a "Visiting Associate Professor in Fine
Arts." Just prior to leaving for Rice, Jasper went on a visit to Italy
to study first hand important objects in the history of art in
Florence. It was only his second visit to Italy.
(John O'Neil, Professor Emeritus of Art and Art History at Rice
University said:"Jasper Rose, a visitor from England [held] a one-year
appointment at Rice [teaching art history courses]. Jasper had also
taught a painting course at Rice, and at the end of the 1964 academic
year, staged the first-ever art students' exhibition. Jasper departed
in 1965 to accept an appointment to the instructional staff of the
University of California at Santa Cruz, but not before he had
surprised the Rice campus by wearing academic regalia to his classes.
Once striding across the quadrangle in his vivid and flowing robes, he
encountered the then president, Kenneth Pitzer, who asked him what the
festive occasion was. Jasper replied, 'Oh, I'm pretending that this is
Bert Kaplan at Rice
Bert Kaplan chaired the Psychology Department at Rice University, and had made a
firm commitment to join the new faculty of Cowell College at the
University of California Santa Cruz, which would be opening in 1965.
Bert and his wife Hermia had become very good friends with Jasper and
Jean. Bert persuaded and convinced Jasper to join him as a faculty
member at Cowell College at UC Santa Cruz.
Rose: University of California, Santa Cruz
Jasper: "Then, by a series of retreats upward, I came to Santa Cruz to
inflame the young and annoy the University."
Jasper: "I like young people and that's a distinction. A lot of
professors really don't. I believe deeply in the value of what I show
to students and in the value of setting an example."
Jasper: "It's good for people to be cross [with other professors and
university administrators]. Keeps your blood pressure up." (Something
that Mary Holmes said can give some additional perspective on what
Jasper is saying: "The worst thing isn't to have people disagree with
you. The worst thing is for people just to be indifferent." And, on
many occasions Jasper said that he felt "a loathing" for his
"contemporaries." The University administrators and professors who
disliked Jasper would typically denounce him with terms like "clown,"
"buffoon," "boor," "vain," "volatile," "temperamental," "melodramatic"
or perhaps some other caricature.
At the first meeting of the Art Board at UCSC, Professor of Art, and
Department Chair, Douglas McClellan recalls calling the meeting to
order: "'We have quite an agenda here. It might take a full hour.' [But,]I
didn't count on Jasper Rose [chuckling] and a few other things…")
Jasper was one of the founding faculty members of the University of
California, Santa Cruz, and Cowell College in 1965. UCSC's first
Chancellor, Dean McHenry said that he was so impressed by Jasper's
personality and the content of the Camford Observed book, that he was
willing to overlook the fact that Jasper did not have a Ph.D. and few
major publications, and decided to hire him immediately.
Jasper Rose: Cowell College
Page Smith on Jasper Rose
The first Cowell College Provost was Page Smith, who said: "Jasper
Rose [was the most significant appointment for the college] because he
played such an important role in the college and was an ideal
preceptor, or senior tutor, whatever he was called. [His title was
Senior Preceptor.] I think he was really sort of vice-provost. I got
credit from the faculty for a lot of things where the credit really
belonged to Jasper. That was one reason I was so very anxious to have
him succeed me because I felt that he wanted to be provost. I felt
that he had earned the right to be, that he had all kinds of gifts and
qualities that were important in that job—qualities that were not
fully perceived by many of his colleagues, who were often inclined to
write him off as a sort of a semi-comic character because of
his…[Flowing robes, and] …all that theatrical business that he
surrounds himself with. I think Jasper with all his volatileness and
temperament did a great deal and was in some ways a brilliant
administrator. I mean he was much better about all the kind of
day-to-day things that an administrator needs to be attending to, than
I was. I don't know that he ever was given credit for it, because of
his temperament, which so often put people off. He gets swept away in
the different passions and snits. ...It's not as though he really
indulges himself in these passions and tempers but they certainly made
his tasks more difficult for him and for the people that he worked
with. In a way what I think is surprising is that in the face of that,
he did, and has done so well. It's hard for me to judge the situation
Chancellor Dean McHenry on Jasper Rose
Chancellor McHenry said: "Jasper Rose is a very good administrator,
systematic and thorough and very hard working… He's kind of
scatterbrained in personality, but you know every recommendation for a
student who is graduating gets written, and it's Jasper who sees that
this is done. I must say I was very put off by Jasper at first; he
talks incessantly; almost every conversation I had with him the first
two years ended in a filibuster. (Laughter) I was the listener, and he
was the guy who just poured out these words, and I think we both
adjusted a little. I got more tolerant of him, and he once in a while
stopped for a breath. (Laughter) But it is difficult. But he's added a
great deal to the style of the place, and Page Smith was right that he
fitted uncommonly well into the thing.
Douglas McClellan on Jasper Rose
Professor of Art Douglas McClellan pointed out: "Page Smith… believed…
that only artists should teach art history, people who practiced the
arts should teach art history. He brought up Mary Holmes, and
subsequently hired Jasper Rose. So they, in a sense, had their own
inner sense of what art should be about. The Smiths [Page and his wife
Eloise] were early and very influential because they were early and
because they were both very powerful people." The belief by the Smiths
that art history should be taught by practicing artists was extremely
influential in shaping a participatory culture for all students at Cowell College.
John Dizikes on Jasper Rose
John Dizikes said: "Jasper Rose was a tremendous influence [in the
creation of Cowell College], coming from King's College, Cambridge, in
conveying what it was to have a fully integrated college life, college
night, college activities, not just in class, but other things as
well. He was a transplanted Englishman, and he cultivated his
Englishness, and he cultivated his personality. He was a crucial
figure in the early years because he knew what a college could be. He
had many different ideas about involving people; he was a very
captivating person. He put people off because his style was one of
going overboard. He did not believe in personal restraint (laughter),
and he was a person who was interested in colleges, interested in
American students, but not very interested in American culture. And
when he was Provost he lived in the Provost House in a very real sense
of isolation. I remember once saying, 'Don't you think you ought to at
least take the Santa Cruz Sentinel [local newspaper] and find out
what's going on in the town?' But that was not his primary concern.
And after he felt he belonged here, and yet he always felt very
estranged in American culture. He was a very remarkable person with a
tremendously wide range of interests. I really regarded him as a very
good friend and admired him, though I also was aware of what an odd
character he seemed to so many American students. And he gloried in
that, he developed it. He was not nearly as eccentric as he seemed to
many, many people. But again, it was his way of dealing with the
culture and with the more cautious and timid people."
Chancellor McHenry also said that Jasper was once under consideration
to become Provost of College Five (later called Porter College) while
Page Smith was still provost of Cowell. However, according to
Chancellor McHenry, Jasper "lost his temper" in a meeting of the
Academic Senate and "slammed his papers down" and lashed out with
anger. At this point in time Chancellor McHenry said he felt that
Jasper still had "another year or two of growing up" to do before
becoming a Provost. Yet in recalling this incident, Chancellor McHenry
could see a humorous side to it.
Jasper Rose: Provost of Cowell College
Jasper followed Page Smith as the second Provost of Cowell College,
and served from 1970 to 1974, and was very enthusiastically received
by the students in the role. Chancellor McHenry said: "In some ways,
he was a good Provost, but his boorishness made the four years long
ones for me." Jasper was doing his part to as he had put it: "inflame
the young and annoy the University."
benedicat" at the Cowell Dining Hall
With Jasper as Provost, at the evening meal served at the Cowell
Dining Hall, students would wait for Jasper to say this grace: "Benedictus
benedicat." The Latin translates to "May the Blessed One give a
blessing," and was a blessing that was used at Queens' College
Cambridge. Jasper created a rule that there would be no bare feed in
the Cowell Dining Hall, and set the dinner hour back to make college
life "more civilized." He made a point of eating lunch in the Cowell
Dinning Hall with students. The meals were catered by Saga Food
Service. The mottos that students applied included, "every meal a Saga
of untold heroism," and "every meal a Saga of human suffering."
Regarding his watercolor painting called Jim and Hans, Saga Food
Service, (2 student employees working as servers in the Cowell Dining
Hall) Jasper said, "There are my dear friends Jim and Hans. …Getting
grub together, at Santa Cruz. [Then, he said looking closely at the
painting] …You can see how well they served their food [chuckling]..."
Shakespeare readings and
Jasper organized many Shakespeare readings at Cowell. At the beginning
of spring, there was a tradition of reading Shakespeare's play A
Midsummer Night's Dream under a big oak tree in a large cow pasture
that was south of the College. Jasper would read the part of Oberon,
and Mary Holmes would read the part of Titania.
Jasper and Mary Holmes would often take on the roles of presiding over
Culture Break at Cowell College, which was conceived of as a short
break from study covering several days, and was meant to be educating,
enjoyable and entertaining and be centered on something of interest to
the Cowell community. It could include lectures, readings, plays,
outdoor games, discussions, music, songs, tournaments, and other
Jasper organized waltzes periodically at Cowell at night with a small
orchestra made up of faculty and students. In the spring term, there
was always a lavish waltz. (When Jasper was growing up, his parents
had been recognized as a phenomenal dancing pair, and were especially
accomplished in waltzing.)
Jasper established Cowell College prizes that
were awarded at the end of each academic year for poetry, fiction,
history, calligraphy and room decoration.
Cowell College students
arrested at Santa Cruz beach
There is a story about Jasper when he was Senior Preceptor of Cowell
College that has been told by many people. A large group of Cowell
students were able to acquire a bus, a large quantity of beer, and
then drove to the beach at night. Nearly all of the students were
under the cutoff age for alcoholic beverages. Once at the beach, they
started a noisy party. Jasper was at a faculty party in another part
of town at the time. Here is how Jasper told this part of the story:
Jasper: "We were all having a merry time when I received a phone
call from a rather elderly lady."
Elderly Lady: "Some of your students are down at the beach. Do you
know what they're doing?"
Jasper: "No madam, I assure you I don't. Whatever one does at the
beach I suppose…"
Elderly Lady: "At night? Listen, they're drinking and…"
Jasper: "And what?"
Elderly Lady: You know…" (Jasper ends his telling of the story
The elderly woman ended her call with Jasper,
and she called the police. The students were rounded up, and taken to
the police station. As it turned out, even the students who were of
legal drinking age were in violation of drinking on the beach after
curfew. Soon after, Page Smith was able to drive to the station, and
get the police to release the students without charges by telling the
police that the students were on official university business, and
therefore should be disciplined by the university. Page then got the
students back on the bus and driven back to campus. Chancellor McHenry
said that at some point after this, "he [Jasper] was called down there
[to the police station], and he just blew his top." After Jasper left,
the police called Chancellor McHenry, who laughingly recalled: "and
they said, in effect, 'Who in the world is that creature?'" (Glenn
Willson adds that Jasper was cross with the police and said to them,
"Well, my man, why worry me about these simple frolics. Why shouldn't
they sit on the beach and drink beer?")
Jasper sponsored a diverse
number of class offerings
Jasper sponsored a history class that wrote an original history of the
creation of Cowell College that was published as a book entitled
Solomon's House - A Self-Conscious History of Cowell College by Big
Tree Press, Felton, California in 1970.
Jasper supported output on the printing press at the Cowell Press, and
in appreciation, a limited edition book was printed in his honor in
1974 called Evicting the Household Gods & Other Essays (the essays in
the book were originally published in Time & Tide).
Jasper sponsored two classes in stained glass window making at Cowell
in 1974 and 1975, and those windows still shine within the buildings
of Cowell College. The 1974 stained glass window located on the
walkway down to the Cowell Dining Hall. The 1975 window is located
near the stairs of Cowell faculty offices closest to room 106. Jasper
also sponsored classes in painting, drawing, illustration,
calligraphy, and many other topics via independent studies courses.
Jasper Rose: Art History
Jenny Keller recalls: "Everyone who took a class from Jasper, like his
art history classes, will remember his amazing flamboyance and
brilliant storytelling, his British accent, and his drama. He walked
with a cane, so he'd walk in with a limp, but then he'd use that cane
during his lectures to crack the cane down on the table, and draw your
attention to this and that. It was a performance, in a way, although
he wasn't full of himself at all. He just happened to be very
enthusiastic about his subject matter. So, taking art history from him
was wonderful. There was never a moment where you fell asleep. Even in
the dark, back rows of Classroom Unit II, you were glued to everything
that Jasper was saying.
Some particularly noteworthy Art History lecture topics addressed by
Piero della Francesca
A few amusing tangential topics addressed by Jasper:
"Photography is a craft, not an art."
The ugliness of geometrically trimmed garden
foliage versus the beauty of wilder, more natural-looking gardens.
"Handwriting is becoming a lost art."
"Paperclips are superior to staples" (because staples damage the
On establishing a career as an artist: If
you're a painter, it takes decades and your career only really takes
hold when you're older. If you're a writer, you can develop skill in
your 20s, but it takes much life experience to know what to write
about, but if you are a musician, you'd better be good by the time
you're in college or it'll never happen.
Mass production typically moves in the
direction of vulgarization, commercialization, and dehumanization.
To succeed in an academic career you need a
tragic facial expression and white hair, not brains.
It is absolutely not the role of professors to
bully you (students). [If that were to happen,] a university ceases to
exist, and becomes a trade school, prison or an asylum for the
mentally deficient in which the warder and the pupils are almost
Jasper Rose: Messiah and German lieder
Jasper was known to have led his World Civilization class in
performances of Handel's Messiah. Herman Blake said Jasper would have
"…All the students—they would learn The Messiah. And he'd be coming
out of the dining room at Cowell practicing. (howling) He's got this
thing in his hand [presumably resembling a conductor's baton], the
[sheets of] music, and he's practicing, singing to himself."
Always a flower in Jasper's
Herman went on to say: "Jasper Rose, who was crazy in the most
beautiful way. We'd have a faculty dinner and Jasper was always
serious about these faculty dinners. Get ready for faculty dinner.
You'd be in your office at eight o'clock in the morning on the day
that the faculty dinner was going to be at seven o'clock. Jasper would
go around and visit everybody and say "Hello," [in a British accent]
and greet you, and have a greeting about something or other. He'd have
a miniature, miniature rose in his lapel. An hour later here Jasper
would come saying "Hello," and greeting you, and he'd have a little
bit larger flower. An hour later here comes Jasper again, with a
little bit larger flower. By the end of the day he'd have this huge
dahlia on his lapel, pulling his coat down. And you never said a word
about the flower. You'd have this conversation about some concept or
idea. You can't take yourself seriously in that setting, but at the
same time you got to take ideas seriously in that setting, but
seriously in a human and a humane way. "
Herman continues: "So we'd have the faculty dinner, and Jasper, with
his big dahlia, would sing German lieder (songs). He'd sing German
he'd go find a secretary from the office to accompany him on the
piano. He'd always find a secretary who hadn't played the piano in
forty years, who was leaning over this music, tinkling at this stuff,
and Jasper would just sing German lieder (howling/singing). He's just
going on. He'd finish and we'd clap real hard. And somebody would say,
'Don't clap too hard or he'll do another one.' So we started clapping
real silently and Jasper would look at us over his glasses and say,
"There's more." And you'd have more." (Jasper said when he quit
smoking cigarettes and cigars circa 1971, that his singing voice very
significantly improved. It is also very remarkable given Jasper's
lifelong love of singing German lieder, that he never actually learned
the German language. Wearing a flower in the lapel of his coat was
always one of Jasper's trademarks. )
Jasper also had students put on a performance
of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, a comic opera that
satirizes the "aestheticism craze" of the 1870's and '80s. This
story is about two youthful gentleman poets who are in love with the
same young lady named Patience.
Jasper always lectured in his
Jasper always wore a gown when lecturing to students. He said it
represented to him his own graduation and education from King's
College, Cambridge. However, in seminars and small scale educational
gatherings he would wear a sport coat. Herman Blake goes on to
say: "Jasper never taught without his academic robes. Always
wore his academic robes, which I don’t think ever saw a cleaner or a
laundry in all the years he had them. But, he’d wear his robes
going—and he took his hat off and bowed to every woman. And, she might
be going way over there, and look, here’s Jasper. He’s not going move
until she reciprocated. You can say that’s humorous and it’s fun—and
J.D. heard some Cowell students exclaim that Jasper's British accent
was becoming more and more distinctly British the longer he had been
at UCSC. J.D. was skeptical until he heard Jasper do a caricature of
an American with a mid-western accent. If Jasper could do an
absolutely masterful imitation of a particular American accent, then
he could certainly master a more perfectly British accent too.
When Jasper retired to Wingfield, England in 1986, Jim Bierman
observed on a visit that Jasper’s English accent seemed to be very
unusual even to other Englishmen. Because of his accent,
Englishmen seemed to immediately see Jasper as a unique character,
which was not that different from the reactions of American’s
listening to Jasper's accent in Santa Cruz.
On a different occasion, during a long spring evening, J.D.
encountered Jasper approaching the Cowell fountain. Each of them was
walking at a quick pace in an opposite direction. J.D. was late, and
headed to a costume party, perfectly dressed as the Star Trek
character Mr. Spock (long-sleeve blue shirt with Star Fleet insignia,
black pants, pointed ears, human eyebrows painted out with Vulcan
eyebrows painted in). Jasper was headed to a different appointment,
and locked eyes on J.D., completely puzzled, perhaps thinking he was a
mythological character that he should be able to identify. They both
continued at a brisk pace passing each other in opposite directions
without comment, with Jasper looking most carefully to try and solve
the puzzle, while J.D. took close note of Jasper's completely puzzled
Jasper at Cowell College
On June 18, 1973, Jasper spoke to the graduating class of Cowell
College: "There's little I can do for you in the way of moral
exhortation at this stage in your lives," he said to broad laughter.
"Or little I can do for you now in the pursuit of knowledge." He
remarked that many students had slightly changed the Cowell College
motto: "The pursuit of knowledge in the company of friends to the
pursuit of flesh in the company of fiends." But, Jasper urged the
graduands to "consider the generations that lie behind you and what
you owe them." He asked students to search for "truth, not the great
'Truth' of philosophy, but ordinary truth for everyday occasions the
avoidance of lies and twaddle " And lastly, he said, "cling to your
friends." and added that Cowell has been a family and home, and "I
hope it will be your home all of your lives." (…and, perhaps thinking
back to his own feelings about his graduation from King's College,
Jasper concluded his term as Provost of Cowell at the end of the
Spring term 1974, and was succeeded by Rich Randolph (who had a very
tough act to follow) from 1974 to 1979. John Dizikes followed Rich as
Provost from 1979 to 1983.
A film of John Milton's Lycidas
Jim Bierman, a Theater Arts faculty member of Cowell College directed
and edited an 18-minute color film of a reading of the pastoral elegy
Lycidas by John Milton (1608 -1674) with Jasper in 1977. Concerning
the creation of the film Jim said: "Lycidas was a thrilling adventure!
I had made a film at Princeton some years before that went on to win
some festival prizes, but I did none of the technical work. I simply
wrote the script, and gave advice on the editing. With Lycidas, I had
to learn everything. Jasper came to me and proposed the project, and I
accepted on the spot, even before I had read the poem. That night, I
did read it, and the following day Jasper showed up with a pile of 64
watercolor paintings. More were added later. We recorded the poem
first (Jasper did a splendid reading), and then I had a long and
arduous task of filming all the images so that they would fit in with
the reading in an animated way. A music score was also folded into the
project. Jasper was terrific. He added paintings when needed, and also
produced all the titles, credits and extra images as the work
progressed. In the end, the film was distributed through EMI films at
Berkeley, then a media arm of the UC press. Much to my present
distress, the film is no longer available through EMI. It is a
beautiful representation of Jasper's work, built around his rich and
sonorous voice." A promotional write-up for the movie states that
Jasper "reads the poem with great insight and deep feeling in a manner
that is dramatic but not histrionic."
Jasper, Jean, and their sons lived in a converted winery farmhouse
2110 Ocean Street Extension in Santa Cruz that was once known as Monte
Verde Heights. It became known as the "most English-like part of Santa
Cruz," and sat on a pleasant slope, surrounded by a fragrant orchard
and surviving grape vines.
Jasper Rose: "Students are not vegetables"
reorganization: Departments over Colleges
Unfortunately, under the leadership of Chancellor Robert Sinsheimer, the UCSC
Academic Senate in 1979 voted to reorganize UC Santa Cruz around
departments rather than the colleges. It was the first major blow
against the founding vision of UCSC: faculty organized around their
common interdisciplinary interests, rather than by departments of
reorganization: Letter grades
The change that Chancellor Sinsheimer wanted
to bring to UC Santa Cruz was the introduction of letter grades.
During a discussion before a crowd of about 1,500 students and faculty
in the Cowell College Dining Hall concerning an upcoming faculty vote
on the introduction of a letter grade "option" for students,
Jasper exclaimed that "Grading is a means of sorting vegetables,"
which was received with much applause. Jasper went to discuss this
point with further
embellishments: "Grading is for vegetables... and sides of beef. It
only serves to separate pristine apples from those with blemishes."
However, the second major blow against the founding vision came when
the UCSC Academic Senate voted in favor of the letter grade option.
UCSC Art Department split:
Art and Art History become 2 separate departments
Next, there were major changes at the UC Santa Cruz Art Department.
The Art Department split into two departments: Art and Art History.
Jasper vigorously opposed this change. Jasper was strongly against
having scholars move in the direction of more and more specialized
areas of expertise. Jasper believed that excess specialization caused
a narrowing of academic disciplines rather than expanding them.
Jasper Rose at Porter College (formerly College V)
Jasper had fought valiantly for the continuation of the founding
principles of the Colleges of UC Santa Cruz, as much or more than any
other faculty member at UCSC, but the battles were lost.
Porter College becomes the
de facto College of the visual arts
One result of Chancellor Sincheimer's reorganization was to
concentrate faculty at particular colleges according to the subjects
they taught. Porter College became the de facto College of the visual
At Cowell College,
John Dizikes was a strong supporter of the founding principles of the
Colleges at UCSC and was stepping down as Provost of Cowell effective
at the end of the 1982-83 academic year. John Lynch was to become the
new Provost of Cowell at the start of 1983-84. John Lynch said he was
a follower of "the purpose of the reforms [of Chancellor Sinsheimer]."
It was clear that the new leadership of Cowell College would not be
taking an independent stance and answering back to Chancellor Sincheimer.
Looking at the sum total of the
Jasper found that it no longer made sense to remain at Cowell College
because at that moment it was ceasing to exist as a significant academic entity. So,
Jasper left Cowell College to join the visual arts faculty of Porter College
(formerly College V) at UCSC at the start of the 1983-84 academic year.
(The term of John Dizikes as Provost of Cowell stretched from Fall
1979 to Spring 1983. In an interview, after speaking at length about
the changes to UCSC made by Chancellor Sinsheimer, John Dizikes said
only this in answer to a specific question about Jasper's move from
Cowell College: "[Jasper left] …Cowell and [then] the University, and
went back to England.")
Once established at Porter, Jasper taught a Porter College core course that
integrated writing with illustration in addition to his usual classes.
Jasper was one of several rotating chairs of the Art Board.
Jasper's association with Porter College seems to be completely
forgotten in UCSC's institutional memory. In April 2019, when asked
about the date when Jasper became a member of Porter College, the
College staff said they had no knowledge of his association with
Porter. The question was then referred to the Provost of Porter
College, Sean Keilen, who said: "I understand that Professor Rose was
a founding fellow and a provost of Cowell College, not of Porter. At
least I am not aware that he had a formal affiliation with Porter, or
with College V as it was known at the beginning. If I am wrong, please
correct me…" (The answer to the question finally came from a look at
the UCSC General Catalog: "Jasper Rose is first identified as being
affiliated with Porter in 1983/1984.")
Jasper Rose: Retirement from UCSC
At the beginning of the 1986 calendar year Jasper made an announcement
that he would retire from UCSC effective at the end of the Spring 1986
term, and become an Emeritus Professor at UCSC. Jasper discussed
his reasons for leaving UCSC in a very long newspaper interview, which
is available at this web site here with pictures.
(Allan Masri also transcribed the whole newspaper interview on his web
here.) Here are the main points from Jasper's newspaper
Jasper: "One doesn't resign or retire for a single motive. One retires
for a great, curious cloudbank of hovering reasons."
Jasper: "If you really want to understand why some of us have
succumbed to a certain amount of disappointment, bitterness, and
disillusion, [it is because] we had a sense of how vulnerable American
undergraduate education was to the vulgarization, commercialization of
mass-production, and wanted to make a stand against it. To some
extent, Santa Cruz fulfilled an element of its function by, for a
while, setting a higher standard, which then became of interest to the
rest of the University of California. It was particularly important at
a time when mass-production of students was very much in the air."
"But, you do sometimes get the feeling that you might just as well be
in an egg factory at the present time. That's worrying. Quantity is
not the thing that counts. Receptivity, responsiveness,
susceptibility, sensibility--are what count."
Jasper: "In terms of the ambitions and proclaimed ideals of the place,
the amount of interaction between faculty and students now is
Critical of Chancellor Sinsheimer
Jasper: "Chancellor Sinsheimer said, I think quite openly, 'that only
on the rarest kind of occasions can excellence in teaching reap
significant rewards, unless it's accompanied with excellence in
research.' My view of it is fundamentally very different. If you want
to talk about your institution as caring a great deal about teaching,
you must then be fairly liberal and generous in rewarding the people
who teach and teach well."
Jasper: "The people who don't get advanced, become discouraged. They
become known as people of no importance in the University. They don't
count much because they're not `nationally visible,' in that terrible
phrase. I well recall it being used in a personnel case. A very senior
person said, `Oh, we can't advance this person, because he's not
nationally visible! And I wrote back, saying, 'I suppose what this
campus now wants is local invisibility and national visibility! And I
didn't get an answer which denied that. I'm one of those unfortunate
people who are nationally invisible. I always make it my business to
greet students as I walk about, and talk with them if I possibly can,
as it seems only civil to do. One knows that the students belong to
the same institution. Why should one put one's head down and pretend
they don't exist?"
The growth of midterm exams
Jasper: "One of the things that has horrified me is the growth of
midterms, which then become quarter terms, and then eighth terms… this
sort of continuous examining of students. If you treat students in
this way, you don't have to be specially intelligible, or interesting,
or entertaining when you're teaching them. All you have to do is make
it perfectly clear that if they want to get some credit, they're going
to have to do exactly as you tell them, which I'm afraid smacks to me
of anything but a university. It smacks to me of a military
establishment. And I do get very frightened about the seizing up of
The reorganization of UCSC that was orchestrated by Chancellor
Sinsheimer dealt a severe blow to College autonomy. Jasper: "The
healthy interchange of ideas between professors in different
disciplines collapsed [as a result of the reorganization]. It became
clear to me that the sort of things that I represented were things
which are not very much wanted by the dominant impulse; that I would
have to struggle hard to maintain the sort of things I cared about.
There comes a moment when you get tired of struggling… and I got tired
We need faculty who are
ready to answer back, and take an independent stance
Jasper: "This University needs some faculty who are more ready to
answer back, who are ready to take up an independent stance. It also
desperately needs some faculty who retain a sense of humor and a sense
of fun. When the joy and pleasure run out of an institution, it's due
for a very grim, dull time."
Jasper: "I have to find some other place in which to exercise what
talents I have."
Jasper: "My final decision [to retire from UCSC] was made in England.
I saw a lovely house that I suddenly realized I could afford, and a
number of immediate problems had depressed me very greatly. I had
deeply lost confidence in the [UCSC] administration. And so I thought,
'I need to do something different."
There was an informal gathering on May 7, 1986 at UCSC
to honor Jasper. He read and spoke of poetry and illustrations of
poetry. Jasper also had a farewell show of around 400 watercolor
paintings at the brand new Baskin Art studios at Porter College.
Jasper's retirement party was held at Baskin where there was waltzing
along with strawberries, champagne and cake.
Jasper Rose: Retirement
in Bath, England
In becoming an Emeritus Professor at the end
of Spring 1986, Jasper was no longer required to teach classes. Jasper
wished to move back to England to devote his energy to painting, so
that the conflicts he had experienced since his days at Cambridge
between being a university professor versus being a painter could be
addressed in the direction of painting.
Upon returning to England Jasper also worked
on illustrating poems, and adopted some rules for the creative
1. The illustrations are to be created from
the beginning of the poem onward to the end (with no skipping around
between parts of the poem).
2. Create illustrations for equal segments of
the poem. (For example: Every line, every two lines, or every four
3. Create the illustrations without consulting
any references. In other words, don’t let the creative process be
interrupted by trying to be scholarly correct. (For example: If you
don’t already know what a 17th century chair looks like, you can’t
research the topic.)
Jasper took a particular interest in these
Song of the Shirt by Thomas Hood
(1799-1845), a poem about wretched conditions of England’s working
poor that was published in the same time period as the works of
To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
(1621-1678), the most well known carpe diem poem in English.
The City of Dreadful Night by James
Thomson, who used the pseudonym of Bysshe Vanolis, (1834–1882), a
lengthy poem expressing bleak pessimism of a dehumanized, uncaring
And, he also revisited John Milton’s
Wingfield House, near
Jasper and Jean had bought a divided manor
house called Wingfield House (near the town of Trowbridge, and not far
from Bath) on a trip to England in 1984, and it was to this location
that they retired in 1986. They lived there until they moved to
the nearby city of Bath in the beginning of 1989. The address: 1 Wingfield House, Bradford Road, Wingfield,
Trowbridge BA14 9LF, UK. Wingfield House is in a very rural
countryside location that is surrounded by trees, pastures, and
farmland, and is a 20-minute drive from Bath.
At the time, the manor house was divided into
2 units. Jasper and Jean's unit 1 remains unchanged, but unit 2
has since been subdivided into units 2 and 3. The large fireplace was so big that you could walk
into it. Their unit was the newest part of the manor
house and was estimated to have been built in about 1830.
Incredibly, Cowell College Literature
Professor George Amis saw a tabloid newspaper headline at a supermarket checkout
line in Santa Cruz that ran a headline saying: "The War of the Roses."
The tabloids had picked up on an issue between Jasper and the owners
of the other half of Wingfield House. Cheryl Doering also saw
the headline and asked Jasper about it. Jasper said the problem
concerned the use of the manor house drive. It's noteworthy to
point out that Jasper never drove a car. Jean did all the driving.
Jasper also told Cheryl Doering that he was once out painting a landscape
in a nearby field at Wingfield when a farmer approached him , looked
over his shoulder and said, "hmph...it's clear that you're no
In January 1988, Jasper and Jean both had a show of "Recent Watercolors" at
Porter College House.
In June 1995, Jasper exhibited paintings in an "Emeritus Faculty Show"
at the Faculty Gallery at Porter College.
In May 2005, Jasper had a show at the Cowell College Eloise Pickard
Smith Galley Annex called the "Watercolors of Jasper Rose."
attached to the main gallery which was showing an exhibition entitled
"Reminiscing: Cowell College, The Early Years, focusing on historical
highlights from 1965 to 1975."
Moves to a stately Georgian
home on Sydney Place in Bath, England
Jasper and Jean moved from the manor house at Wingfield village
at the beginning of 1998. (At one point, Jasper said he had run out of interesting
subjects to paint at Wingfield.) They moved to a stately Georgian home
on Sydney Place in Bath, England that had previously housed the Bath
School of Art and Design (formerly the Bath School of Art), which is
located directly across the street from beautiful Sydney Gardens. In
the 1940s Jasper's wife Jean had studied at the Bath Academy of Art. Jasper
very often painted landscapes along the Kennet and Avon Canal
which flows through Sydney Gardens.
Sydney Gardens in Bath is England’s best
remaining Georgian Pleasure Garden. It opened in 1795. A pleasure
garden typically contains broad walkways, shade trees, decorative
shrubbery, flower beds, hidden bowers, lawns, a labyrinth, provides
public breakfasts and afternoon teas, music, firework displays,
entertainments, and a very popular place to see and be seen by
Jane Austen lived with her family at 4 Sydney
Place across the street from Sydney Gardens from 1801-1805. She
visited Sydney Gardens often. The city of Bath provided inspiration
for two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
A BBC production of Jane Austen's Persuasion was filmed in 1995 and
used 95 Sydney Place as the home of Sir Walter Elliot.
The Kennet and Avon Canal was built from 1794
to 1810 and cuts through the park. It has a lower elevation than the
park itself and has a wide towpath, which made it popular for
leisurely walking. When the canal construction came through the park
in 1800, several iron pedestrian bridges were added across the canal.
The Great Western Railway was routed through Sydney Gardens in 1840,
which made it popular with train spotters. The railway is also sunken
below the elevation of the park.
"Imagianation" Gallery in
The "Imagianation" Gallery was opened in Bath in March 2015 by Nicola
(Murphy) Maclean and Ian Maclean. The small gallery is located not far
from Jasper and Jean's home. They welcomed Nicola and Ian warmly
to Bath. They have gotten to know Jasper and Jean very well, and the
gallery now has several of Jasper's paintings available for purchase:
Photo of Jasper at the "Imagianation" Gallery.
Views of Jasper's paintings in the gallery.
In 2016, an oil portrait painting of Jasper called The Enigma of
Jasper Rose by a friend of Jasper's named Saied Dai was displayed in
the National Portrait Gallery, in London.
Jasper Rose: "Portraits from Memory" show at Cowell College
In the late-1990's in Bath, Jasper started to recapture the people he had
encountered by painting small portraits from memory. Often whimsical,
often sharp, they are always interesting. In the summer of 2016, Faye
Crosby, newly retired after six years as provost of Cowell College,
found herself in England. She paid a call on Jasper and Jean in Bath.
Jasper showed Faye many of his watercolors painted from memory, and
Faye was captivated by the whimsy and wit of the portraits. With a
small grant, she was able in 2017 to travel back to Bath with Cheryl
Doering and Robert Lange. Eric Thiermann loaned them some recording
equipment and provided professional guidance so that Robert, Cheryl,
and Faye were able to record Jasper's comments on the people he had
painted. Although he was ill at the time of their visit, Jasper
rallied valiantly and provided as much description as he was able. The
Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at Cowell College at UCSC was the venue
from Memory" show at Cowell College. The show ran from
April 12 to June 8, 2019. A total of 362 portrait watercolors were
exhibited that covered a time span from about 1934 to 1985, and was
divided into Early Years, Cambridge Years (the largest), Texas, and
Jasper Rose: Some thoughts
on his passing
Jasper passed away peacefully in Bath, England on June
12, 2019, just days after his Portraits from Memory show at University
of California, Santa Cruz closed. A commemorative
service was held for family and friends on June 27, 2019 at the Haycombe Crematorium
Jasper opened the eyes of his students to what
the potential can be for a meaningful, stimulating and
thought-provoking life. He has always encouraged the love of learning,
and the exploring of creativity in an environment of friendliness,
flair, good taste, wit, humor, kindness and generosity. Jasper worked
against the contemporary trend of a factory system that mass produced
students in a modern research university setting. He worked for a more
humane and meaningful educational system in which the experiences of
each student mattered in the shared life of the college. He wanted
each student to be recognized for their unique talents and
contributions that set them apart, and not be a student widget
produced in an educational factory. He loved objects created by the
hands of an artist, architecture, poetry, music, old books, conversing
with people, and witty humor.
Taking some inspiration from Jasper: A life can be full of endless creative possibilities and
artistic experiences. Look and listen for those
that call out to you. Don’t let the most exceptional pass by
In the Spring of 1986, just prior to Jasper's departure from UCSC,
Cowell College professor Bert Kaplan interviewed Jasper on video.
The interview focused on this pivotal question: How did you get
to be Jasper Rose? Jasper answered by discussing many aspects of his
life prior to starting at UCSC, until the recording time abruptly ran out at the end of his talk. Jasper begins by
discussing his experiences in the Crimean War (1853–1856) and then
at Bert's prompting, Jasper goes on to talk about growing up in
Victorian England (1837-1901). Jasper does not mention meeting Charles
Dickens (1812–1870). Readers of this account will know that Jasper
was born in 1930. Jasper does speak of meeting Prince Mirsky
(1890-1939) a giant in the field of Russian Literature, and other
notable German and Italian refugees from fascism in London in the
1930s. He goes on to speak about many more of his life
experiences. Watching Jasper at the top of his game is not to be
There are also additional noteworthy videos:
Jasper reading his
Art History 10C
And, there is a comprehensive YouTube playlist
of 26 Jasper videos that include all of the above:
Finally, a quote from G. K. Chesterton that appears at the beginning
of Jasper's book about both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Camford
Observed. (Jasper's mother Dorothy had met and admired
[Father Brown:] "…Funny
place, Mandeville College. Funny place, Oxford. Funny
[Doctor asks curiously:]
"But you haven't anything particular to do with Oxford?"
[Father Brown:] "I
have to do with England. I come from there.
And the funniest thing of all is that even if you love it and belong
to it, you still can't make head or tail of it."
G. K. Chesterton
The Scandal of Father Brown
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