Rosemarie Antoinette Basile, a longtime Provincetown resident and celebrated artist of local scenes, died peacefully on Sept. 25, 2022 at her home in Orleans. She was 91.
She was born on May 10, 1931 in Newark, N.J., the only child of Aurelio Artillio and Immaculata (Spallone) Basile. She spoke only Italian until age seven and spent childhood summers on the Jersey shore. There she became an avid fisherman. Her father gave her waders and a fly rod for her 21st birthday.
A passionate world traveler and gardener, Rose came from a family of artists. Her paternal grandmother was a sculptor in Italy; her father dabbled in paint; maternal aunts adorned kitchen walls with paintings of the Bay of Naples, Sorrento, and Capri; and a cousin painted designs for fabrics.
She attended St. Mary’s Academy in Hudson, N.Y. and earned a bachelor of science degree at Boston University and later a master’s in education and psychology. She taught in the Newton Public Schools and at Rhode Island College before retiring in her early 40s. In 1975, Rose moved to Chatham before settling in Provincetown 20 years later and embarking on a serious pursuit of painting.
Drawn to landscapes and waterfronts, Rose’s brilliant yellow hip boots and orange hoodies — as well as her gulls and dunes against blue seas and skies — won her a place as a colorist in Provincetown’s rich tradition. Gallerist David Cowan at ACME Fine Art in Boston said that her “strikingly original work chronicles the lives of fishermen and women and their contemporary struggle for economic survival on the Outer Cape.”
Rose was honored with a solo exhibition in 2004 at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, where she had served on the board. There were also solo exhibitions at Berta Walker Gallery in Provincetown and Bert Gallery in Providence, R.I. Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown also represented her for many years. Rose’s work is in the permanent collections of PAAM, the Cape Museum of Fine Arts, and the Provincetown Public Library.
Her painting Blessing of the Fleet is included in “Selections From the Provincetown Art Colony,” a PAAM exhibit that is in the West Wing of the White House through June 2023.
Rose leaves many beloved friends, including Carol Noyes of Provincetown.
There will be no services. Condolences may be offered at the Nickerson Funeral Home website.
Memorial donations may be made in Rose Basile’s name either to PAAM, 460 Commercial St., Provincetown 02657 or to Friends of the Provincetown Public Library, P.O. Box 207, Provincetown 02657.