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Early Life

 
Both Hans and Margret Rey were born in Hamburg, Germany - Hans Augusto Reyersbach on September 16, 1898, and Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein on May 16, 1906. Hans received an old-style humanistic education and studied Latin, Greek, French, and English. Although art was not a part of his studies, he loved to draw and did so at a very young age. The drawing of horses in the park shown here was done when he was just eight years old. Hans, better known by his initials, "H. A.," served in the German Army during World War I and was stationed in France and Russia.

In the early 1920's, H. A. and Margret met at a party at her parent's house. He was dating her older sister at the time, and his first sight of Margret was of her sliding down the banister. (Listen to Hans tell the story.)

H. A. Rey
1898-1977

Margret Rey
1906-1996

In 1924, due to the increasing inflation in Germany, H. A. moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to work as an accountant in his brother-in-law's import-export firm. Among other duties, he sold bathtubs and kitchen sinks up and down the Amazon River for 12 years.

Meanwhile, Margret was still in Germany, where she received formal art training at the Bauhaus in Dessau in 1927, when Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky were on the faculty. She also studied at the Dusseldorf Academy of Arts from 1928 to 1929 and held one-woman shows of her art in Berlin in the early 1930's. Margret worked for a British advertising agency in Berlin, where she wrote the lyrics to the first jingle for a Lever brothers advertisement in praise of margarine. She also worked as a professional photographer in Berlin and London before moving to Rio de Janeiro in 1935.

"Horses in the Park" watercolor, 1906

Advertising Art
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Contact:
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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