American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Rosamond Niles, 1881-1958

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1959



The first time I met Rosamond Niles was in 1928 when we both were attending an exhibit in New York of the magnificent paintings by the famous Russian artist, Ivan F. Choultse. Absorbed in our admiration of his mountains, glorious snow scenes, and sunlight, it was some time before we noticed each other. We then gave vent to our emotions and soon discovered that we were both members of the American Alpine Club.

Rosamond joined the A.A.C. in 1922, the sixteenth woman member of the Club. Her climbing was done chiefly in the Alps, at Zermatt and in the Diablerets Group. She was not only a mountaineer but also a talented artist and pianist. Examples of her paintings may be seen in various museums and art schools in Connecticut, Virginia, and Texas. She had studied under well-known masters here and in Paris. In 1928 an exhibit of some of her smaller paintings and etchings—scenes of Paris and New York— was held at the Hotel Vanderbilt in New York. During World War I she gave many concerts for charity in Switzerland.

Rosamond was a member of the National Arts Club and lived for a while in the Gramercy Park section of New York. Later she designed and built for herself a charming home in Old Lyme, Connecticut, where she enjoyed her lovely garden. She was born in Portsmouth, N. H., November 5, 1881. Her father, Rear Admiral Nathan Eric Niles, served in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Annapolis in World War I. She suffered many years from arthritis and died in Old Lyme, December 3, 1958.

Rosamond was not known to many members of the Club, but those who met her at the tea for Maurice Herzog, March 11, 1953—her first and only visit to the Clubhouse—found her an unusually interesting personality, attractive and full of humor.

Helen I. Buck

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.