Ivy Rosequist 1934 - 2008 Early this summer, the San Francisco design community lost one of its most creative forces. Ivy Rosequist was born in Hallock, MN, on September 12,1934. Although number one in her high school graduating class, Ivy passed on college to follow her love of art, design and photography, moving to California in 1953. While working at Photo and Sound in San Francisco, she decided to pursue a career in interior design. She attended the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design and then studied fabrics at Stroheim and Roman. In the late fifties, Ivy joined the European Antique Dept, at Gumps, and then began working on her own interior design business. While Ivy was married to Ron Mann in the mid seventies, Mann and Rosequist consulted on the re-design of The Cannery and numerous other award winning public and private spaces. Together, they transformed a 1940s bungalow beach house, south of San Francisco, into a now famous and often photographed compound of integrated structures, lawns, and courtyards. So important to Ivy was her relationship to Werner Erhard, which motivated her own contributions in her transformational seminars on Design and Beauty. Concurrently, Ivy began a long design association with Michael Taylor that lasted until his death in 1986. An unexpected working vacation to Lake Como, Italy, in 1973, inspired Ivy to design the first wicker chair constructed to look like upholstered furniture. When she showed her design to Michael Taylor, he said," Go into the wicker business, Sweetie, and I'll push it!" With that, her company, Wicker, Wicker, Wicker was born. Their first collaboration was the original wicker "Jennifer Chair" for the actress, Jennifer Jones. It is now a part of the permanent collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modem Art. After 35 years, the business is thriving today under the loving care and discerning eye of Ivy's life and business partner, William Giffen. As in this excerpted quote from Jack Kerouac, "The only people for me are ... the ones who are mad to live... the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..... " Ivy, you are a shining star. You inspire us. We love you.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 19, 2008.