Erik Ronnberg Sr. (1909 – 1989)
Mr. Ronnberg was born in Sweeden, and spent 16 years at sea, after which he became a U.S. citizen, married, and worked as a rigger in Boothbay, Maine until the war’s end. In 1946, he moved to Rockport, Mass, established a small specialized rigging business in Gloucester, Mass and began building ship models in his spare time. These models were eagerly acquired by collectors, and by the mid-1950’s, his work was drawing the attention of museums. In 1960, Ronnberg began a marine-oriented retail business in Rockport, where he sold many of his ship models, as well as ship-in-bottles, shadow boxes, fancy rope work, and scrimshaw of his own making. At this time, he first met Roy Wheeler, and there began a long artist-client relationship and a good friendship as well.