Suzanne Loebl, prolific writer and avid lecturer, was born in Germany and grew up in Belgium. Inspired by her father, a pharmaceutical chemist, she decided to study chemistry, and met her future husband while studying at Columbia University. Shortly thereafter, Loebl traded her test tubes for a typewriter and early in her career was the recipient of a Sloan Science Writing Fellowship at Columbia University's School of Journalism. She has since written 14 books on a variety of topics from growing up during the Holocaust to art museums, the most recent of which, America's Medicis: The Rockefellers and Their Astonishing Cultural Legacy (Harper), is an exploration into the philanthropic and cultural legacy of one of America's wealthiest and most influential families. Loebl is a sought-after keynote speaker for events at schools, museums, and libraries, with presentation topics ranging from how to tap into your past in order to write a memoir to the Rockefeller family's terrific passion for the arts.
Based on a wealth of information culled from the family's extensive archives over a period of five years, America's Medicis traces the Rockefellers' artistic philanthropies from their beginnings to the present. As Loebl makes clear to her audience, the Rockefellers did more than simply provide money and artworks; they also devoted themselves to the causes they believed in -- a commitment that helped define and direct America's artistic tastes. In spite of these material gifts, the Rockefellers' most lasting contribution was to teach America that art does not belong to a rarefied elite, but rather can be enjoyed and understood by all. Erudite and engaging, America's Medicis is a remarkable account of the twentieth-century American art world and the extraordinary family at its center.
Loebl worked for many years as the science editor of the Arthritis Foundation, prior to deciding to write full-time. She was a founding member of the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and Community Health Council and served as their vice chair from 1989 until 1994. Loebl received the Matrix Award, New York Women in Communications, in 1974.
She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Association of Science Writers, and The Authors Guild.
Loebl divides her time between New York City and Mount Desert Island, Maine, a site that is intimately associated with the Rockefellers, who spent their summers on there in a 106-room "cottage."
Praise for America's Medicis:
"...an illuminating and impressive portrait of the Rockefellers' vast cultural legacy, and it is perhaps simply the case that the family's gifts are too great to be easily assessed."
-- The Wall Street Journal
"Suzanne Loebl, a New York art journalist, has given a highly readable account of [the Rockefellers' cultural philanthropy]. She does not shrink from hinting at the human frailty of her heroes."
-- The Economist