Janet Solinger

Janet Solinger

Janet Weiland Solinger died in New York on October 26, 2020.  She was born in Cincinnati on December 20, 1921 to Fred Weiland and Dorothy (Gross) Weiland and grew up in Avondale.  She graduated from Walnut Hills High School and the University of Cincinnati.  In 1943 she married Nathan Solinger, Assistant City Solicitor and later a partner in the firm Weiland, Solinger, and D’Angelo.  Mr. Solinger died in 1957.

Throughout the years of her marriage, Mrs. Solinger was active in many community and national organizations, including the National Council of Jewish Women, Rockdale Temple Sisterhood, North Avondale PTA, the Girl Scouts, and Girl and Her City Day, along with many others.  She was a longtime member of Losantiville Country Club and Rockdale Temple.

After her husband died, Janet Solinger began her illustrious career.  In the late 1950s, she was Assistant to President Nelson Glueck at the Hebrew Union College.  In the early 1960s, Solinger moved to New York and soon became the Administrator of the Jewish Museum, which at that time was the hub of contemporary art in New York, as well as a repository of both historic and modern Judaica.  In 1972 Solinger moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Director of the Resident Associate Program at the Smithsonian Institution, a position she held for twenty years.  She was widely acknowledged to have increased the size of program membership fivefold during her tenure and to have set national standards for museum programming. Next she became Vice President for Public Programs at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the municipal museum of the city of Washington, D.C., where she continued develop innovative programming and to draw record audiences for more than ten years.  

Throughout this period, Solinger was a force in the art world, nationally and internationally, and in the city of Washington.  She was an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, Washingtonian of the Year, Fulbright Fellow to New Zealand, a member of the Cosmos Club, and the recipient of the Smithsonian Gold Medal for Exceptional Service.  Solinger was decorated by the governments of Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium.  She held many national offices in professional organizations and traveled the world for fifty years.

Janet Solinger is survived by her daughters, Dorothy Solinger (Tom Bernstein) of Irvine, California; Rickie Solinger (Jim Geiser) of New York; and Martha Solinger (David Martin) of Martha’s Vineyard, three grandchildren, Zachary Leeds (Molly Brooks), Nell Geiser, and Alec Martin, and two greatgrandchildren, Dean and Ruby Leeds.  She is also survived by her brother and niece of Cincinnati, Dick Weiland and Jeanne Weiland, and nieces and nephews, David Weiland, Fred Weiland, Steve Klein, Debbie Klein, and Laura Klein.