The di Rosas

THE DI ROSAS

Veronica di Rosa (1934–1991) was born in Canada and trained as an artist at the Emily Carr School of Art. After moving to California she became admired for her work as a watercolorist and sculptor. She married Rene di Rosa in 1976 and continued making art while becoming deeply engaged in philanthropic endeavors in the Napa Valley. Veronica was an active booster of Napa Valley’s wines, music, and fine arts, and the author of several illustrated cookbooks.

Rene di Rosa (1919–2010) was born in Boston and graduated from Yale University where he was editor of the Yale Daily News. He served as a Navy lieutenant in World War II and in 1950 took a job as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. While living near the burgeoning North Beach art community, he began to collect the works of emerging Bay Area artists. In 1960 he purchased land in the Carneros region of southern Napa County and planted vineyards. In pursuit of this new endeavor, he enrolled in viticulture classes at the University of California at Davis and developed what would be lifelong friendships with many of the artists who have become the backbone of the di Rosa collection; artists such as Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, Manuel Neri, and William T. Wiley were all art professors at Davis in the mid-1960s. In the years that followed, Rene became an avid collector and arts activist, serving on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Art Institute and New York’s Whitney Museum National Committee.

 

Veronica and Rene di Rosa.