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Margarete Waldstein

Margarete Waldstein

Female 1906 - 1996  (90 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Margarete Waldstein 
    Born 16 May 1906  Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Biography http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/features/cgsite/curiousaboutgeorge.shtml

    Margret Elizabeth Rey (May 16, 1906 – December 21, 1996), born Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein, was (with her husband H. A. Rey), the co-author and illustrator of children's books, the most famous of which are the Curious George series.

    Although she was born in Germany, she fled to Brazil early in her life to escape Nazism. While there, she met her future husband Hans (who was a salesman and also from Germany). They married in 1935 and moved to Paris, France, that same year. While in Paris, Hans's animal drawings came to the attention of French publisher, who commissioned him to write a children's book.

    The result, Rafi and the Nine Monkeys, is little remembered today, but one of its characters, an adorably impish monkey named Curious George, was such a success that the couple considered writing a book just about him. Their work was interrupted with the outbreak of World War II. As Jews, the Reys decided to flee Paris before the Nazis seized the city. Hans built two bicycles, and they fled Paris just a few hours before it fell. Among the meager possessions they brought with them was the illustrated manuscript of Curious George.

    The Reys' odyssey brought them to the Spanish border, where they bought train tickets to Lisbon. From there they returned to Brazil, where they had met five years earlier, but this time they continued to New York, New York. The books were published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941, though certain changes had to be introduced because of the technology of the time. Hans and Margret originally planned to use watercolors to illustrate the books, but since they were responsible for the color separation, he changed these to the cartoon-like images that continue to feature in each of the books. (A collector's edition with the original watercolors was recently released.)

    Curious George was an instant success, and the Reys were commissioned to write more adventures of the mischievous monkey and his friend, the Man in the Yellow Hat. They wrote seven stories in all, with Hans mainly doing the illustrations and Margret working mostly on the stories, though they both admitted to sharing the work and cooperating fully in every stage of development. At first, however, Margret's name was left off the cover, ostensibly because there was a glut of women already writing children's fiction. In later editions, this was corrected, and Margret now receives full credit for her role in developing the stories.

    Margret and her husband moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1963, in a house close to Harvard Square. Following her husband's death in 1977, Margret continued writing, and in 1979, became a Professor of Creative Writing at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Starting in 1980, she also began to collaborate with Alan Shalleck on a series of short films featuring Curious George and more than two dozen additional books.

    In 1989 Margret Rey established the Curious George Foundation to help creative children and prevent cruelty to animals. In 1996, she made major donations to the Boston Public Library and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She was also a long-time supporter of the Longy School of Music. The Reys spent twenty summers in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, to enable H.A. Rey to better observe the stars for his astronomy writing. They became an integral part of the Waterville community and their legacy is honored by The Margret and H.A. Rey Center and the Curious George Cottage located there.

    Dr. Lena Y. de Grummond, a professor in the field of library science (specializing in children's literature) at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. contacted the Reys in 1966 about the university's new children's literature collection. H.A. and Margret made a donation of a pair of sketches at the time. In 1996, after Margret's death, it was revealed in her will that the entire literary estate of the Reys were to be donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at Southern Miss  [1
    Hebrew Birth 21 Iya 5666 
    Holocaust The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey--Houghton Miffling 
    Hebrew Death 11 Tev 5757 
    Occupation Artist 
    Residence Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Paris, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence New York, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Cambridge, MA, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Social Security Number 085-28-9669 
    Died 21 Dec 1996  Cambridge, MA, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I7837  Blank Family
    Last Modified 23 May 2010 

    Father David Felix Waldstein,   b. 6 Feb 1865, Gnesen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Dec 1943, Wembley Park, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Mother Gertrude Rosenfeld,   b. 26 Feb 1879, Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Dec 1942, Wembley Park, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Married Abt 1901  Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1494  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Hans Augusto Rey,   b. 16 Sep 1898, Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1977, Cambridge, MA, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 16 Aug 1935  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5587  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 16 May 1906 - Hamburg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 16 Aug 1935 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Hamburg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Paris, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - New York, NY, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Cambridge, MA, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 21 Dec 1996 - Cambridge, MA, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Rey Margarete Waldstein
    Rey Margarete Waldstein
    HANS, MARY EICHENBERG, MARGRET, LUDWIG and RENATE 1935
    HANS, MARY EICHENBERG, MARGRET, LUDWIG and RENATE 1935

    Documents
    The Jewish Museum - Special Exhibition - Curious George Saves the Day_ The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey
    The Jewish Museum - Special Exhibition - Curious George Saves the Day_ The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey

    Histories
    'Curious George Saves the Day' at the Jewish Museum - WSJ.com
    'Curious George Saves the Day' at the Jewish Museum - WSJ.com
    Exhibit on Curious George's Escape Opens
    Exhibit on Curious George's Escape Opens
    The Jewish Museum - Special Exhibition - Curious George Saves the Day_ The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey
    The Jewish Museum - Special Exhibition - Curious George Saves the Day_ The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey

  • Sources 
    1. [S78] Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia.


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