I was born April 9, 1954 in Portsmouth Virginia, and grew up in nearby Williamsburg, the restored 18th Century capital of Virginia. After two years at the University of Virginia, where I studied urban planning, I transferred to the Maryland Institute, an art school in Baltimore. I then finished at Cooper Union in New York where I studied with Joel Meyerowitz, one of the pioneers of fine art color photography. 

Since art school I have worked as an architectural photographer, and I've pursued various landscape/documentary photo projects. Over the years, I have photographed a number of notable buildings, including Philip Johnson's AT&T headquarters and Cesar Pelli's addition to the Museum of Modern Art. More recently, I have photographed the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht by the late Aldo Rossi, the Fortis building in Rotterdam by Helmut Jahn, and the campus architecture of Princeton University. My architectural photographs have appeared in Architecture, Architectural Record, Interior Design, and Metropolis, among others.

In 1980 I began photographing the Lower East Side of Manhattan in collaboration with fellow Cooper graduate Ed Fausty. We worked for a year, documenting the streets and architecture of the neighborhood. The photographs were first exhibited in 1981 at the Henry Street Settlement. The Lower East Side project led to an invitation to photograph the Wall Street area of Manhattan in conjunction with several other photographers. That work was first exhibited at Federal Hall on Wall Street in 1983.

During this time I began making photographs of Central Park on my own and on assignment for the newly formed Central Park Conservancy. My photographs of the park were first exhibited at the Dairy, an exhibition space in the park. This work led to a project sponsored by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in which I photographed natural park areas around the city. These areas of wetlands and forest exist in all the boroughs, and are surprisingly expansive. In 1986 I exhibited this work at the Urban Center Gallery in midtown Manhattan, and the show subsequently traveled to other galleries around the city.

In 1985, while still photographing the parks of New York, I turned my attention beyond the confines of the city and began photographing the landscape of the former European East/West border, also known as the Iron Curtain. In making the photographs I traveled the heavily fortified line between the Baltic and Adriatic Seas, as well as the Berlin Wall. This project was first shown at the International Center of Photography in 1987. In late 1989 I returned to Berlin to photograph the wall just after its unexpected opening, and later I photographed the border zone after the wall was removed. Prints from the East/West project have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. I am continuing to document the changes occurring in the former border zone in Berlin, particularly around Potsdamer Platz and Checkpoint Charlie. 

In 1992 I was asked by the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment to photograph the landscape of Prospect Park, which resulted in the "Trail of the Waters" exhibition shown in the Tennis House in the park. The pictures include all four seasons and follow the course of water through the park beginning with its source from a manmade spring to various pools and creeks, and ending in the Prospect Park lake. 

For the past several years I have been commuting between the U.S. and the Netherlands where I am married to Dutch urban planner Renee Schoonbeek. In 1995 I began photographing the area around Mercatorplein, an Amsterdam neighborhood undergoing extensive change. Also during the last two years, I have been photographing the periphery of Amsterdam exploring the uneasy border between city and countryside. An exhibition of that work, entitled "Amsterdam on Edge" was shown at De Balie in 1996. In 1998 I published Mercatorplein, image of a world in Amsterdam, which documents an ethnically diverse neighborhood in the western part of the city known for its Amsterdam School architecture.

In 2000 I photographed noteworthy housing developments around the San Francisco Bay Area. The pictures were featured in a book, California Dreaming, published by the NAI Publishers in The Netherlands. After the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, I dug into my archives and put together a selection of photographs that included the Twin Towers. Those pictures were featured as part of the Vigil website, the album project spearheaded by Suzanne Vega of songs written by New Yorkers after September 11th. My song, "The Skyline," was also included. My WTC photos were also presented at the Goethe Institute in Washington, D.C., and were exhibited in the Modern Museum in Olomouc, The Czech Republic.

The Lost Border, the Landscape of the Iron Curtain was published in November 2004 on the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall. One of the photographs from the series was included in the opening exhbition of the newly expanded Museum of Modern Art. And after 25 years, I am once again photographing the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a neighborhood that has changed profoundly, as has much of New York.

In 2007 I moved back to New York full time with my family where I continue to do architectural photography and work on my individual projects.

Brian Rose
February 15, 2010