The Cambrian

Eleanor Kluck, 96, an award-winning textile designer, environmentalist, dies in Cambria

Retired artist Eleanor Kluck died July 7 at her Cambria home at the age of 96.

For decades, she and husband Henry Kluck were the internationally acclaimed textile design team behind ELENHANK Designers. They moved to Cambria in 1985.

Eleanor Kluck was an elegant, classy, charming lady who had trained in fine arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and her husband as an architect/engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Through their art, the couple achieved international success, winning many awards for their innovative drapery, wall coverings and rug designs.

Many of their artworks were based on distinctive mural prints, most of them inspired by nature, in which bold oversized panels produced dramatic free-flowing images on block- and screen-printed fabrics, as well as wallpapers. ELENHANK artworks are in permanent collections in galleries and museums around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Art Institute of Chicago.

As recently as last year, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum published a coloring book that is sold on the internet and in the museum’s gift shop using Eleanor’s KIDS’ & KITES’ design as a theme, and the Art Institute of Chicago is working on a silk scarf using Eleanor’s IRIS design that will be sold through the institute’s gift shop and catalog.

The Klucks were committed to environmental causes and were active in various conservation groups, including the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo, formed initially to help preserve Cambria’s Fern Canyon. The Kluck Trail through the canyon was dedicated in 2007.

Henry Kluck helped found the Cambria Community Services District Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission. The Klucks donated many hours to the Cambria Historical Society and were deeply committed to preserving the Fiscalini Ranch.

Henry Kluck died in 2007.

The memorial will be private.

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