Carol LeMasney Hayes

In Memoriam: Carol LeMasney Hayes 1933-2018


Carol LeMasney Hayes

October 10, 1933–February 21, 2018

Carol died suddenly and peacefully after a day spent in a booth at the Marin Indian Art Show, doing what she loved best, connecting with people who will always remember her. She grew up in the East Bay, attended Oakland High School and graduated from Stanford University, where she met her husband, Allan Hayes. They married in 1958, moved to Sausalito, and in 1963, bought and remodeled the hillside home where they raised their two sons, Mark and Keith, and where they still live. 

Carol was a painting and drawing major at Stanford, and quickly learned sophisticated antique restoration skills, a talent she used for several important Bay Area antique dealers. Meanwhile, the family antique collection outgrew the house and garage, and in 1980, Carol started Summerhouse Antiques, at first in a collective in San Anselmo. The business concentrated on general antiques until 1989, when Carol and Allan made their first trip to Santa Fe. They quickly fell in love with Southwestern Indian pottery, and the business gradually evolved into today's Summerhouse Indian Art. In the years since, Carol mainly applied her restoration skills to pieces of that pottery that needed help.

They found the art so fascinating that they felt they had to tell people about it, and In 1991, their oldest friends, John and Brenda Blom, joined them on a Santa Fe trip. Together, the Bloms and the Hayeses built a joint collection and wrote a book, Southwestern Pottery, Anasazi to Zuni, which came out in 1996. A small book, Collections of Southwestern Pottery, followed in 1998. 
Carol became increasingly interested in the pottery of southern Arizona and set out to write a book about that specialized subject. However, they learned so much history that the book became a broad history of the Desert told with artifacts. She and Allan co-authored The Desert Southwest, Four Thousand Years of Life and Art, a 2006 Southwest Book of the Year. In 2008, she and Allan created an in-depth website, In 2012, Shire Publications of Oxford, England asked for a small-format book, and Carol and Allan co-wrote and photographed Pottery of the Southwest. Meanwhile, the first book Southwestern Pottery, proved to be a niche best-seller and stayed in print for 20 years, to the point where it was hopelessly outdated. Carol, Allan and John Blom rewrote and rephotographed it completely, and an expanded Second Edition came out in 2015. 

During those years, Carol served on the Sausalito Trees and Views Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Sausalito Historical Society. She and Allan also served on the Board of Directors of The Museum of the American Indian in Novato, where they curated exhibits and where Carol provided restoration skills as needed.

In the coming weeks, there will be a Celebration of Life. The family would appreciate contributions to one of Carol's favorite organizations, Habitat for Humanity and the Marin Humane Society.

Note: This memorial was sent to us by Mr. Hayes and originally ran in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 24, 25 & 26, 2018.