Ingri d'Aulaire

1904 - 1980

Ingri Mortenson and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire met at art school in Munich in 1921. Edgar's father was a noted Italian portrait painter, his mother a Parisian. Ingri, the youngest of five children, traced her lineage back to the Viking kings.

The couple married in Norway, then moved to Paris. As Bohemian artists, they often talked about emigrating to America. "The enormous continent with all its possibilities and grandeur caught our imagination," Edgar later recalled.

A small payment from a bus accident provided the means. Edgar sailed alone to New York where he earned enough by illustrating books to buy passage for his wife. Once there, Ingri painted portraits and hosted modest dinner parties. The head librarian of the New York Public Library's juvenile department attended one of those. Why, she asked, didn't they create picture books for children?

The d'Aulaires published their first children's book in 1931. Next came three books steeped in the Scandinavian folklore of Ingri's childhood. Then the couple turned their talents to the history of their new country. The result was a series of beautifully illustrated books about American heroes, one of which, Abraham Lincoln, won the d'Aulaires the American Library Association's Caldecott Medal. Finally they turned to the realm of myths.

The d'Aulaires worked as a team on both art and text throughout their joint career. Originally, they used stone lithography for their illustrations. A single four-color illustration required four slabs of Bavarian limestone that weighed up to two hundred pounds apiece. The technique gave their illustrations an uncanny hand-drawn vibrancy. When, in the early 1960s, this process became too expensive, the d'Aulaires switched to acetate sheets which closely approximated the texture of lithographic stone.

In their nearly five-decade career, the d'Aulaires received high critical acclaim for their distinguished contributions to children's literature. They were working on a new book when Ingri died in 1980 at the age of seventy-five. Edgar continued working until he died in 1985 at the age of eighty-six.

From the dust jacket of d'Aulaire's Book of Norse Myths
d'Aulaire Biographies published by Doubleday & Company, Inc
CoverTitleAuthorPublication date
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1939
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1950
Buffalo Bill Buffalo Bill d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1952
Columbus Columbus d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1955
George Washington George Washington d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1936
Leif the Lucky Leif the Lucky d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1941
Pocahontas Pocahontas d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1946
Authored
CoverTitleAuthorPublication date
Animals Everywhere Animals Everywhere d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1940
Children of the Northlights Children of the Northlights d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1935
The Conquest of the Atlantic The Conquest of the Atlantic d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1933
d'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths d'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1962
d'Aulaires' Norse Gods and Giants d'Aulaires' Norse Gods and Giants d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1967
d'Aulaires' Trolls d'Aulaires' Trolls d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1972
Don't Count Your Chicks Don't Count Your Chicks d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1943
Foxie Foxie d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1949
The Lord's Prayer The Lord's Prayer d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1934
The Magic Meadow The Magic Meadow d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1958
The Magic Rug The Magic Rug d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1931
Nils Nils d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1948
Ola Ola d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1932
Ola and Blakken and Line, Sine, Trine Ola and Blakken and Line, Sine, Trine d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1933
The Terrible Troll-Bird The Terrible Troll-Bird d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1976
Too Big Too Big d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1945
The Two Cars The Two Cars d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1955
Wings for Per Wings for Per d'Aulaire, Edgar Parin, d'Aulaire, Ingri 1944
Illustrated
CoverTitleAuthorPublication date
East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Twenty-One Norwegian Folktales East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Twenty-One Norwegian Folktales 1938
The Star Spangled Banner The Star Spangled Banner 1942