Alice Harth

Alice Harth

I was lucky to meet Alice Harth in 1963 after I grad­u­ated from my art classes at City College of San Fran­cisco. (Later, Alice taught adver­tising art at CCSF with Stan Galli, William Cheney and John Allen in 1965). I was looking for work and Alice invited me to her home at the north end of Lake Street to have tea with her and her mother where Alice would review my portfolio.

Poised and soft-spoken, she gave me advice…then in leaving, with my huge black port­folio under my arm and spike heels on my feet; I tripped from the top of the outside brick stairs and fell to the side­walk. Uncon­scious on the side­walk, I missed seeing Alice fly into action, (this was before “911”) summoning the doctor who lived across the street. When I came to, the doctor checked my condi­tion and had me driven home and checked me again, for concus­sion, the next day in his office…all with out charge!

In the years that followed, when Alice and I would talk, there often was my apology for the fright of that night.

When I last spoke with Alice, I asked her how she got started as an artist. She said that when she was a little girl, her mother set a piece of paper and a pencil in front of her and said, “Draw some­thing”. Alice said that was the begin­ning of her career, where (in an age with few woman in the field of graphic arts) she was able to pay her way though life as an artist.


Alice was born on July 17, 1925 in Los Angeles to Archie H. and Ethelda H. Wood. She attended UCLA for art/graphic design for 4 ½ years while creating graphic art for Bullocks of L.A.
Alice left UCLA just before she would’ve grad­u­ated because she got the job offer from Gump’s in San Francisco.

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In 1950, Alice estab­lished her own design studio.
Her clients have included: Winfield Design Asso­ciates, Lane Maga­zine and Book Company, Doubleday, Harper & Row, The Museum of Contem­po­rary Crafts, N.Y., San Fran­cisco Museum of Art, Cali­fornia Arts Commis­sion, Japan Air Lines, KQED, The Spice Islands Company, S & W, K.J. B., Castle & Cook, Inc., The Cling Peach Advi­sory Board, Trader Vic’s, Velve­tone Company, and Anshen & Allen, Architects.

Projects for Alice entailed handling design concepts, typo­graphic and package design, book illus­tra­tion and design, and photo and film art direc­tion. A major portion of Alice’s work was directly related with the food industry. Sunset Magazine’s Kitchen Cabinet recipe column was illus­trated by her each month, She also acted as adver­tising art director for Winfield Design Asso­ciates, inc., a Bay Area wall covering manu­fac­turer. For over ten years, Alice donated her talents for the National Aid to the Visu­ally Hand­i­capped by creating Christmas card art for their funding program.

In Addi­tion to her design activ­i­ties, Alice Harth taught Profes­sional Prac­tices Design Class at City College of San Fran­cisco, attended confer­ences (some as diverse as computer program­ming) and she served on boards and juries for the Society of Commu­ni­cating Arts of San Fran­cisco (later known as: The Art Direc­tors and Artist Club of San Francisco).

Alice’s continued educa­tion and expe­ri­ence was also furthered through exten­sive travel, which included: Europe, the Middle East, Central and East Africa, Brazil, Mexico and the Orient.

Inter­ested in all aspects of commu­ni­ca­tions, Alice Harth believed that a fulfilled life and inte­grated society must include an aware­ness of the total environment.

Credit lines of clients.

1. “Journey Into Fashion”, GUMP’S, (Since 1861) San Francisco,.
2. “Boun­tiful Table”, Holiday card bene­fiting “National Aid To Visu­ally Handicapped”
3. “Greet­ings”, Holiday card bene­fiting “National Aid To Visu­ally Handicapped.”
4. “Leaping Deer”, Holiday card bene­fiting “National Aid To Visu­ally Handicapped.”
5. “Retail gift bag”, (Client unknown)
6. “Retail gift bag”. (Client unknown)
7. “Retail gift bag”. (Client unknown)
8. “Cook’s Wisdom
”, by Editors of Williams-Sonoma.
9. “From Japan To Your Table”, Owlswood Productions.
10. “Japan: An Artist on a Holiday: A collec­tion of Sketches by Alice Harth”. Publisher: Japan Airlines (January 11965)
11. “Japan: An Artist on a Holiday: A collec­tion of Sketches by Alice Harth”. Publisher: Japan Airlines (January 11965)
12. “Japan: An Artist on a Holiday: A collec­tion of Sketches by Alice Harth”. Publisher: Japan Airlines (January 11965)
13. “The Spice Islands Cook Book“ by Spice Islands Home Economics Staff and Alice Harth (Lane Book co., Menlo Park, CA 1961)
14. “The Spice Islands Cook Book “ Illus­trated page,
15. “Spice Islands: Guide To Your Spice Shelf,” From “The Spice Islands Cook­book” by Fred Caliguiri, © by Specialty Brands, Inc.1964, 1975, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
16. “Adven­tures in Food” by the Edito­rial Staffs of Sunset Maga­zine (author), Alice Harth (Illus­trator) (January 11964)

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