“What I do is going to change things. Things aren’t going to be the same anymore.” - Edith Heath
The Environmental Design Archives (EDA) has launched a fundraising campaign to publish Edith Heath: Philosophies, an in-depth, richly illustrated book on Edith Kiertzner Heath (1911-2005) and the history of Heath Ceramics. If successfully funded, this will be first publication to provide a definitive history of the company, its founder, and the philosophical foundations and influences that shaped one of the most significant creative forces in post-WWII America.
Please make a gift to towards the goal of $35,000 today. Every dollar given will be matched up to $30,000.
Edith Heath: Philosophies, will serve as the comprehensive resource on Edith Kiertzner Heath (1911-2005) and the history of Heath Ceramics. Heavily illustrated, it will feature an introduction and ten chapters contributed by artists and scholars who have conducted research using the Brian and Edith Heath Collection at the EDA, UC Berkeley.
This publication will also serve as a complement to the 2020 exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California, offering substantial and in-depth commentary on the presented themes—the environment, feminism, experimentation, architecture, politics, collaborations—while solidifying the relevance of Edith Heath’s story in contemporary life and society.
Thematically organized, Edith Heath: Philosophies, emphasizes lesser-known narratives and utilizes rarely seen images. Edith Heath considered her dinnerware to be more than a collection of objects; it was a statement of good design reflecting the post-war American West Coast lifestyle. The book departs from the traditional linear narrative of the company and situates Edith Heath as an influential and under-acknowledged figure in ceramic design history. The text and rich illustrations will appeal to a diverse audience interested in post-WWII design, material culture, and California history.
Publication of Edith Heath: Philosophies will also relaunch the Berkeley Design Book series. Started in 2008, the Berkeley Design Book series produced seven books promoting historical and critical scholarship on subjects drawn from the extensive holdings of the EDA. In the series’ second iteration, an exploration of the rich and neglected history of designers based and practicing in Northern California will: publicize the wealth of the EDA’s collections, promote scholarship, provide outlets for scholarly publication, and contribute to the greater promotion of architectural, landscape, planning, and design history.
For more information about the book, including table of contents and breakdown of each chapter, visit the EDA website.
To contribute to the campaign and learn about campaign perks, visit the UC Berkeley Crowdfund page.