The wife of the children’s book author and illustrator Eric Carle, Barbara Morrison passed away at the age of 76 on September 7, 2015 at her home in North Carolina after a brief illness.
Eric Carle married Barbara Morrison in 1973. He does not have any children from his second marriage with Barbara. From his first wife, he has two children, his son Rolf Carle and daughter Cirsten Carle. Even after his divorce, Barbara had maintained good relationship with Eric’s ex-wife and her children.
Barbara Carle, known as “Bobbie” to her friends, spent her life dedicated to education and arts. She had co-founded Side by Side, an innovative preschool that incorporated special needs children into regular classrooms.
Inspired by the picture book museums at Japan, she co-founded The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, later with Eric Carle on November 22, 2002 in Amherst, Massachusetts. It was the first museum devoted to picture book art in the United States. The museum was inaugurated on Barbara’s 64th birthday. She established the museum with her husband to inspire reading and love of art through picture books. She served as the museum’s first board chair.
“Bobbie was such a genuine person – a kind, strong, and warm-hearted woman of tremendous grace and generosity,” said the Museum’s current board chair, Christopher B. Milne.
In an interview, Eric Carle said, “When I began to do well, Bobbie was the one who said, ‘We have to give back’.”
The museum has served more than 600,000 guests and sent exhibitions of Picture Book Art to museums all around the world. It accommodates more than 13,000 objects, including 6600 permanent collection illustrations.
On the website about the founding of the museum, Eric says, “For a number of years my wife Bobbie and I dreamt about creating a place where original picture book art could be enjoyed and appreciated.”
Known for his distinctive and instantly recognizable art work, Eric Carle has won the biennial Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his career contribution to American children’s literature in 2003. He was even nominated for the biennial international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2010.
One of illustrator Eric’s famous picture books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been translated into more than 62 languages and sold more than 52 million copies since it was published in 1969. Some of his notable works include novels like The Grouchy Ladybug, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, All in a Day, The Artist who Painted A Blue Horse, Friends and Little Cloud. He has illustrated more than 70 books and sold more than 162 million copies of his books around the world.
An acclaimed creator of picture books for young children, Eric Carle, has a net worth of $60 million.