A Colorful Life
Gere Kavanaugh, Designer
Louise Sandhaus, Kat Catmur
Publication date: 04/02/2019
|The designer Gere Kavanaugh is an irrepressible force of nature who epitomized the craft and folk vibe of the '60s and '70s California design scene and remains a larger-than-life personality today. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Kavanaugh became in 1952 only the third woman to earn a degree in Cranbrook Academy of Art's design program. After successful stints as one of GM's so-called Damsels of Design and as director of interiors for Victor Gruen's architecture and planning firm, she opened Gere Kavanaugh/Designs. There, Kavanaugh put her unique stamp on textiles, furniture, toys, graphics, store and restaurant interiors, holiday decor, housewares, and public art---even designing and curating exhibitions. But perhaps her most enduring project has been the joyful, open-ended, ongoing experiment of her own lifestyle and homes, a dream of color and handcraft. Kavanaugh was awarded the AIGA Medal in 2016, recognizing her "prodigious and polymathic approach to design."|
Louise Sandhaus teaches in the graphic design program at California Institute of the Arts and is the author of Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936
Kat Catmur is a graphic designer and illustrator. Recent clients include the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, California Institute of the Arts, and the BBC.
Editorial ReviewsSanta Barbara Magazine:
"In the design world, Gere Kavanaugh looms large. The lavishly illustrated book is a well-deserved tribute to a supremely talented designer whose creative influence will be felt for generations to come."Frank Gehry:
"Gere Kavanaugh is an inventor and an explorer looking for and making beautiful spaces, objects, and textiles. She is restless and relentless, and I am so proud that her accomplishments are being published for all to study."Architectural Digest:
"The current climate is an ideal one for a survey of Kavanaugh's wide-ranging repertoire."Steven Heller, The Daily Heller:
"A Colorful Life is among the most exuberant design books I've seen in years. This one is not to be missed."Los Angeles Times:
"A Colorful Life: Gere Kavanaugh, Designer, the first monograph on Kavanaugh's life and work, tells her story through a fascinating avalanche of visual material. The book by fellow Southern California designers Louise Sandhaus and Kat Catmur surveys Kavanaugh's seven decades of work, which reveals a dazzling wealth of intuition and talent, plus her elastic ability to distill the present moment like a true marble-walker."Interior Design:
"Not only has Kavanaugh had, as the authors of this book say, a life in color, she has brought color to everything and everyone around her. Here's to you, Gere!"Communication Arts:
"Sandhaus and Catmur offer not only an expertly curated archive of Kavanaugh's many talents in A Colorful Life, but also warm, firsthand accounts of the designer from the many people she's impacted with her work. This book is a fitting tribute to the storied body of work that Kavanaugh has built up throughout her lifetime."