In Remembrance: Andrew W. DeShong ’70PhD Died on February 18 2014

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Andrew DeShong died of cancer on February 18, 2014, in Berkeley, California. Drew was a painter, set designer, theater historian, and longtime drama bookstore owner/manager.  While still an undergraduate, he had a one-person show at a major New York gallery.  At Harvard, he designed sets and costumes for Loeb mainstage and experimental theater productions, including the premiere of Erich Segal’s version of Plautus’ Braggart Warrior.  He went on to design productions at numerous Bay Area theaters.  After studying in Paris and receiving his PhD in theater history from Yale, he taught university courses in theater history, dramatic literature, and set design, and cocurated a major exhibition of twentieth-century stage design at the Henie Onstad Foundation in Oslo.  His book, The Theatrical Designs of George Grosz, is the standard work on the subject. For nearly a quarter century, Drew owned and operated Drama Books, a cultural center and meeting place for San Francisco theater people. Throughout, he continued to paint.  At the time of his death, he was working on a series of hand-bound, hand-painted books of visionary images on prestained Japanese paper—“my new testament,” as he smilingly called them. His friends will remember him for his wit, engagement, loyalty, and imagination.

1 remembrance

  • Karen Fallahi
    Karen Fallahi, 3:56pm August 10 2021 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Drew and I were in grade school together in Fabens, Texas. We were both in the 3rd grade and I remember him as my gentle, sweet young friend who excelled at art. We spent many happy recesses together talking about art and other things we had in common.

    I've thought of him over the past several years, once searching for him online, but to no avail, until today. I would have loved that we had reconnected. No doubt we would have had much to share with one another.

    I remember him looking quite like the above photo, only a younger version, of course. I am so happy he was successful in his life as what I recall, he was rejected by other classmates.

    My maiden name was Karen Kosanke, and my aunt, Lois Pierson, herself an accomplished artist, taught 3rd grade in Fabens Elementary at the time.

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