Mary Murphy is the Senior Vice President of Design at Maharam, which she joined in 1992 after a stint at Herman Miller. The New York-based brand has been a prominent force in the textile world since 1902 and was acquired by Herman Miller in 2013. Murphy graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design’s masters program and went on to become an interior designer where she gained first-hand knowledge about textiles. She has guided the Maharam Design Studio’s development of commercial and residential textiles, a collection that continues to grow through her collaborative vision with the team. Murphy has also fostered their continued relationships with well-known designers, like Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Paul Smith, and Scholten & Baijings, which is why the brand continues to create fresh, innovative, and trustworthy products. In this week’s Friday Five, Mary Murphy shares five places, objects, and things that she loves. Take a look.
1. Ethiopian cross
My Ethiopian cross was purchased from a dealer in Addis Ababa. I find the Ethiopian culture to be so rich, including the history of Christianity dating back to the fourth century. Typically a cross such as this would be carried by a priest in a religious procession.
2. Khadi cloth
I like to buy textiles that represent the countries I visit. My favorite saris from India are made from handspun, handwoven cotton. The simplicity and purity of the process and the fabric is what appeals to me. Khadi was a symbol of rebellion and self-reliance instituted by Gandhi.
3. Post-it notes
Post-it notes are such a genius invention that have helped millions get organized, myself included. It was great to see them used in a New York City subway station as a means of expression after the 2016 presidential election.
4. Louise Bourgeois, Crochet I
I love Louise Bourgeois’ work and find this piece from the Crochet series especially interesting. It’s very dimensional, a result of casting a maquette, then inked and printed on handmade paper pulp. I never get tired of looking at it.
5. The Met Cloisters
The Cloisters museum is an amazing escape right in Manhattan. It specializes in medieval art and architecture set in formal gardens overlooking the Hudson River. One of my most memorable experiences was listening to the “Forty-Part Motet” by Janet Cardiff in the museum. It was incredibly gorgeous and very moving.