Esther Brann was born in New York City on July 21, 1899. She was educated at the Art Students' League, Cooper Union, the National Academy of Design, and the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts in France. After completing her studies she returned to New York, and, experiencing difficulty in finding work as an illustrator, she decided to write and illustrate her own books.
Her first book was Nanette of the Wooden Shoes, published by Macmillan in 1922. This work was followed by A Quebec Sketchbook (1926), Lupe Goes to School (1930), Nicolina (1931), Yann and His Island (1932), Bobbie and Donnie Were Twins (1933), based on her twin nephews who actually were called Bobbie and Donnie; Around the World With Esther Brann (1935), Another New Year With Bobbie and Donnie (1936), Patrick Was His Name (1938), concerning her family's dog; Patrick Goes A-Hunting (1940), Five Puppies for Sale (1948); and Book for Baby, inspired by her son.
She also illustrated Edna Albert's Little Pilgrim to Penn's Woods and The Shawl with the Yellow Bells, as well as Mary Jane Carr's Children of the Covered Wagon.
Brann married Dr. Richard Schorr, with whom she had a son, Alan Richard. Richard Schorr enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served for three years as Commander and Lieutenant Commander. He was stationed in Guam for thirteen months, and afterwards posted to Pensacola, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; Yonkers, New York; and Hayward, Camp Parks, and Long Beach, California. Brann and their son traveled with him, finally settling in Los Angeles, California.
Brann was named one of ten national award winners for her children's books. As well as writing and illustrating, she enjoyed sculpting and jewelry making.
Esther Brann Schorr died on January 3, 1998 in Ventura, California.
Ward, Martha E. and Dorothy A. Marquardt. Authors of Books for Young People (Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press) 1971
The H.W. Wilson Company, Junior Book of Authors, 2nd ed.; Junior Authors Electronic (1951), updated 1999.)
Ventura County Star. January 9, 1998.
The Esther Brann Papers include eight book manuscripts of various versions, some with galley proofs, illustrations, or miscellaneous fragments: Another New Year With Bobbie and Donnie, Five Puppies for Sale, Nanette Goes for the Bread, Nanette of the Wooden Shoes, Nicolina, Patrick Goes A-Hunting, A Quebec Sketchbook, and Yann and His Island. Two published works include Nicolina and Patrick Was His Name.
The correspondence includes seventy-three letters, of which the bulk (forty-one) concerns the Macmillan Company from 1927-1960.
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[Identification of item], Esther Brann Papers, Ax 432, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Detailed Description of the Collection