Rosa Rolanda, 1895-1970

Rose Cowan, later Rosa Rolanda, was born in the United States, September 6, 1895. Her father was an American engineer and her mother, Guadalupe Ruelas, who had been born in Azusa, CA, to Mexican parents. She always insisted on having her own way. Rosa had a gift for sculpture and excelled in physical education, her teachers encourged her to study dance. She was chosen between three hundred students to perform with the Marion Morgan Dancers in New York in 1916. Rosa had joined the cast of Irving Berlin´s Music Box Revue. Later she met the Mexican painter, Miguel Covarrubias in the United States. With Covarrubias, Rosa spent much time with Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and other important artists in Mexico who encouraged her to paint. In the lately 30´s, some years after her marriage with Covarrubias, she began to paint basically portraits of friends, children and Indian women, mostly in goauche, sometimes in oil. Her first portrait was painted in 1938, of Dolores del Río. Also a large oil of María Félix. She considered herself as neo-figurative.