Ellen Havre Weis, founder of the San Francisco Museum of Pop Culture, dies at 64

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., August 10, 2021 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) – Ellen Havre Weis, founder of the Museum of Modern Mythology in San Francisco, passed away on Tuesday, July 27. The cause was brain cancer, her husband, Gordon Whiting announced today. Weis was sixty-four years old.

PHOTO CAPTION: Ellen Weis, Director of the Museum of Modern Mythology, giving a slide talk on the Michelin Man and Publicity Figures, Billings, MT, 1991. Photo: Gordon Whiting.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, on May 14, 1957, Weis grew up in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, where she attended public schools. His father was a product engineer. Her mother was a community college librarian.

Enrolling at the University of Iowa in 1975 to study writing, she quickly bonded with a group of intellectuals known as Actualists, led by poet Anselm Hollo and small newspaper editor Allan. Kornblum. Mentored by writer Jayne Anne Phillips, she published her first short fiction film in North American Review.

In 1982, Weis moved to San Francisco where she founded the Museum of Modern Mythology with Matthew Cohen and Jeff Errick. The museum featured a collection of American publicity figures such as Mr. Clean and Jolly Green Giant, presented in a way that showed their relationship to mythical images and archetypes. The small museum quickly gained wide acclaim, with reports in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, People, and The New York Times. Prominent mythologist Joseph Campbell, film historian Leonard Maltin and marketing historian Trudy Kehret-Ward have served on the board of directors.

“Ellen felt there was more than nostalgia at work in people’s reaction to these images,” said Gordon Whiting, Weis’ husband. “They seemed familiar on a deep level, part of an ongoing story.”

Weis and her husband formed WeisPR in 1994 in Berkeley, California. The company represented innovators in the media and industrial arts such as special effects pioneer Phil Tippett, sound designer-director Jim LeBrecht, designer Fu-Tung Cheng and the Berkeley Mills woodworking studio.

She then continued her writing activities, joining the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, where she studied with James D. Houston and Al Young. Her book “Berkeley: The Life and Spirit of a Remarkable City” was published in 2004. For the past ten years, she has served as Advertising Director for Bay Nature magazine.

After collapsing in January in the kitchen of her home in Altadena, Calif., Tests revealed the presence of glioblastoma multiforme, a form of brain cancer. Despite aggressive treatment, his condition deteriorated. She died at her home in Altadena on July 27, 2021, in the arms of her husband Gordon and son Benjamin. She is survived by her mother Aimee L. Weis, her sister Margaret Chase, both of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and her brother Fred Weis, of Arcata, California.

An agreement was reached last month putting the entire archive of the Museum of Modern Mythology, some 3,000 objects and manuscripts, in the collection of the Valley Relics Museum, Van Nuys, Calif., For continued study and display.


* PHOTO link for media: https://www.Send2Press.com/300dpi/21-0810s2p-ellen-weis-300dpi.jpg

* Caption: Ellen Weis, director of the Museum of Modern Mythology, giving a slide lecture on the Michelin Man and Advertising Characters, Billings, Montana, 1991. Photo: Gordon Whiting.

News Source: Gordon whiting

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