Pearl Heath was born on Jan. 22, 1898 in Langor, Minnesota and raised in Ashland, Oregon. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree from San Jose State University, and, from 1924-1925, worked on a teaching certificate from Oregon Normal School (ONS).
Professor Heath began her ONS career in 1926 and remained until her retirement in 1963, seeing the name change to Oregon College of Education during her tenure.
During her 37-year career at the school, Heath taught art courses and served as head of the Art Department. She traveled extensively, participated in a London research project with blind folk, and was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the Salem Women’s Club, and the International Society for Education through Art.
A prolific artist as well as an excellent instructor, Professor Heath was well-known in her profession; in 1959, she was invited to Denmark to spend the summer attending an Arts and Craft Workshop sponsored by the Danish Museum and the Arts and Crafts Society. While there, she received special training in many areas including architecture, interior decoration, ceramics, glass blowing, and weaving.
In addition to teaching arts and crafts, Professor Heath used her artistic talents to create unique objects outside of the classroom, including jewelry, sculpture, and enhance architecture. In 1949, she designed the fireplace in Maple Hall when it was remodeled from a gymnasium to the school’s first student union. When the new library (now the Academic Programs and Support Center) was initially built in 1951, Heath built a cloisonné clock that was located in the faculty lounge. She also designed the agricultural-themed frieze that decorates the front of the building.
Professor Pearl Heath died on Dec. 20, 1988 in Keizer, Oregon at 90 years old.