Romaine Gustave Solbert, better known as Ronni Solbert, was an author, artist, and photographer, best known for illustrating books like The Pushcart War and more than a dozen more written by her companion, Jean Merrill.
The book’s principal author passed away on June 9 at the age of 96, but her death was kept under wraps. However, its rapid rise to the top of children’s literature may have been aided by Ms. Solbert’s illustrations, which were both smart and sentimental and quite reminiscent of the midcentury New Yorker cartoons.
Ms. Solbert passed away in the house she shared with her sister, Ms. Merrill, in Randolph, Vermont, her niece Lisa Solbert Sheldon confirmed.
Who was Ronni Solbert? (Wiki, Age, Bio)
Ronni Solbert was born in the District of Columbia on September 7th, 1925. Prior to having her current name, she went by Ronni. Her family moved to Rochester, New York, because her father, Oscar Nathaniel Solbert, was the first director of the George Eastman Museum of photography and cinema. Her mother, Elizabeth (Abernathy), Solbert, was a stay-at-home mom.
Born in the nation’s capital, Solbert spent his childhood in Rochester, New York. Her Swedish immigrant father, Oscar Nathaniel Solbert, was a general in the American Army throughout both World Wars. He worked as an executive at the Eastman Kodak Company before becoming the inaugural director of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.
Elizabeth Abernaty and Oscar Solbert met when he was still in the military. Their daughter was named “Romaine,” shortened to “Ronni,” in honour of the woman who had been a foster mother to both parents.
After finishing her studies at Cranbrook, Solbert took a job as an interpreter and broadcaster for the International Red Cross in Stockholm, Sweden. She then became a professor of art at the University of Rochester, where she taught sculpture and painting to undergraduate students. She attended classes and worked at Robert Blackburn’s Graphic Workshop in New York City.
She was able to go to India thanks to the Fulbright Program, where she worked alongside Merrill, who was also a Fulbright scholar, and where they both judged Shankar’s International Children’s Art Competition.
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