Eleanor Munro, Who Profiled Women Artists, Is Dead at 94


The book was part travelogue and part meditation on what inspires pilgrimages, what those who make them are seeking.

“This is a meditative, reflective book,” Merle Rubin wrote in reviewing it for The Christian Science Monitor, “a careful blend of objectivity and subjectivity, written in an open-minded spirit delicately balanced between belief and disbelief.”

Eleanor Carroll Munro was born on March 28, 1928, in Brooklyn to Thomas and Lucile Nadler Munro. The family moved to the Cleveland area when her father secured the curatorial position at the Cleveland Museum, and she graduated from the Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She graduated from Smith College in 1949, then studied at the Sorbonne in Paris for a year. In 1968 she earned a master’s degree in English at Columbia University.

In the 1950s she was an editor at Art News magazine (now ARTnews) and then managing editor of the Art News Annual. Art News’s editor at the time was Alfred M. Frankfurter. They married in 1960. He died in 1965.

In 1969 Ms. Munro married E.J. Kahn Jr., a writer for The New Yorker. He died in 1994.

In addition to her son, a professor of religion at Boston University, Ms. Munro is survived by two sisters, Cynthia Beeker and Elisabeth Smith; a brother, Donald; and two grandchildren. Another son from her first marriage, Alexander, died in 1993.

Ms. Munro’s other books included “The Golden Encyclopedia of Art” (1961) and “Through the Vermilion Gates: A Journey Into China’s Past” (1971). She also compiled two books of readings, “Wedding Readings: Centuries of Writing and Rituals for Love and Marriage” (1989) and “Readings for Remembrance: A Collection for Funerals and Memorial Services” (2000).

In a 1993 article for the Travel section of The Times, she offered a sort of memorial of her own. She told a story from when she was working on the book about pilgrimages: She took her mother, who was then 86 and seemed to be fading, on one of her pilgrimage trips, through France and Spain. The trip, she wrote, seemed to revive her mother’s interest in life, if briefly.



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