Brian Heath (1913-2001) & Edith Heath (1911-2005)
Edith Kiertzner Heath was born in Iowa in 1911. She met Brian Heath in 1938 while working at a summer camp in Batavia, Illinois where he was the director and she was the art teacher. They married three months later and moved to Chicago. Edith attended Chicago Teacher's College and the Chicago Art Institute and worked for the Federal Art Project as an art teacher. The pair relocated to San Francisco in 1941 where she took ceramics and chemistry courses at the San Francisco Art Institute and UC Berkeley.
In 1944 Brian and Edith started Heath Ceramics. Edith concentrated on design and the formulation of clay and glazes, while Brian took control of the business. Their successful stoneware line was produced in their renowned 1952 Sausalito factory designed by Marquis & Stoller. The Heaths began producing architectural tile in the late 1950s which led to Edith receiving the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1971 for the tile work on the Norton Simon Art Museum in Pasadena. Even after the death of Brian in 2001, Edith continued to actively participate in the company until the sale of the business in 2003. Edith passed away in 2005. Their products, found in architectural projects, residences, and restaurants across the country, have been recognized internationally for their quality and design.
The Brian and Edith Heath Collection documents the Heath's personal lives and the progression of Heath Ceramics. The collection consists of eight series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Office Records, Project Records, Gustin Factory, Ione Factory, Tahlequah Factory, Art and Artifacts, and Legal Records. Included in these series are correspondence, art work, photographs, slides, drawings, production records, and samples of tile and stoneware.