Like so many of you, I too have several etchings by the prolific, yet mysterious Ernest C. Rost.I finally found a link to the FARM HOUSE MUSEUAM/Iowa State University, and received the following biographical info from their site.I know after months of trying to get something, this is a real bonanza!!
Artist name: Rost, Ernest C.
Biography: Ernest was born January 20, 1866, at Mt. Vernon, N.Y. and was probably the son of Christan Rost (a locally known engraver) and Minna M. Rost. Nothing is known of his childhood except he was the fourth of six children in the family. By the mid-1880’s E.C. Rost was exhibiting landscapes in oil at the National Academy of Design, New York City. After 1887 his oil painting stopped and by 1891 etching became his primary occupation. Today, the Library of Congress (Prints and Photographs Division) maintains 63 etchings signed ‘Ernest C. Rost’ or ‘E. C. Rost’, with dates running from 1891 to 1896. These often portray country lanes, cottages, rural scenes, sea, river and bayside settings, mostly in New York State, but several depict homes of famous statesmen and writers. With the outbreak of the Spainish-American War, Rost was sent by the U.S. War Department to Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Phillippines, and Guam as a civilian photographer of military operations and installations. Today, 21 photographs taken by E. C. Rost of these islands are held by the National Archives (Audio-Visual Division), while still another 26 photographs, all of Cuba, are held by the Library of Congress. In 1894 he sued his agents, Fishel, Adler and Schwartz Co. for the sale of his etchings as artist’s proofs to which his signature had been forged. He went to the shop and bought 2 of these fo $.90 each, whereas Ernest testified that they were worth $5 each. He was so angered by the lawsuit experience that he never again etched. By 1898 Rost had apparrently given up etching and entered photography full-time. Still, photography was not his only occupation during this time period, for he began writing, too. Between 1899 and 1900, at least 7 articles by Rost appeared in the popular ‘Leaslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper’.
Date Born: January 20, 1866
Birth City: Mt. Vernon
Collections: Library of Congress (Prints and Paintings Division) US National Archives(Audio-visual area) Brunnier Art Museum, Ames, Iowa