Before World War II, he married his college sweetheart Frances Landram, who was also an artist. After the war, he joined his brother in the silk screening business. In 1946 he received a 1,000-yard drapery order for Marshall Field that launched his textile career.
Rose was struggling as a painter and did not envision starting his own textile firm, and the order was one that would have been difficult for an established textile firm to fill. Instead of turning down the order, however, he took the challenge, completing the entire order by himself in a weekend.
Thereafter, Rose's reputation grew, making him one of the foremost commercial textile designers of his day and his firm Ben Rose Inc. a favorite of famous architects and designers.
With the help of his wife and his family friend and business partner Helen Stern, the company produced commercial textiles that were showcased around the world, including in England and Hong Kong. Many of his designs were inspired by travels to places such as Africa and Southeast Asia, where he and his wife collected objects of art.
Several of his patterns are on permanent display at art and decorative museums in Chicago, New York and Montreal.
And the car collection that necessitated building the glass pavilion made famous by the movie? Later in their lives, Ben and Fran Rose drove European race cars.
|Chinese Clouds, 1946|