Pamela Djerassi Bush
April 20, 1950 – July 5, 1978
Daughter of Carl Djerassi and Norma Lundholm Djerassi.
Poet, painter, lover of animals and nature.
The Djerassi Resident Artists Program was founded in 1979 as a memorial to Pamela. This Program, these buildings and grounds are dedicated to her memory.
Pamela Djerassi was born in 1950 in Hartford, Connecticut. She spent her childhood in Mexico City; Birmingham, Michigan; and Portola Valley, California as her father pursued his distinguished career as an organic chemist. Pamela was a sensitive child, intelligent and unusually creative, who showed an early interest in art and poetry. She developed a strong concern for the injustices she saw around her and used her art to express her feelings. Her empathy and sense of humor could offer unique support to her friends in their individual needs, but she also cared for animals in a way that few humans can.
Pamela attended Pomona College, San Francisco Art Institute, and Stanford University, where she received her degree in Art. She worked in a variety of media including oils, watercolors, pastels, pen and ink, charcoal, lithography, collage, ceramics, batik, slate carving, and photography. She had a passion for the natural world and strongly identified with the feminist movement of her time.
Following college and marriage, Pamela and her husband built a home and art studios on a portion of the family land. It was a beautiful, but isolated house, with spectacular views of redwoods, mountains, and ocean. It now serves as the residence of the Executive Director and as the administrative offices of the Resident Artists Program.
Pamela Djerassi pursued her life and her art as long as she could, then chose to end her life on July 5, 1978. As a memorial, her father decided to provide support for individual women artists to live and work at Pamela’s house for up to a year. In 1982 the family cattle ranch was converted to studios and living space so more creative people would have the opportunity to work at their art in this special place. The endeavor has grown to serve over two thousand artists of both genders and varied disciplines from around the world.
Pamela Djerassi loved art and she loved these hills, forests, and meadows. It is to her that the Djerassi Resident Artists Program is dedicated.
Norma Lundholm Djerassi