AN EYE FOR BEAUTY
A story of treasures discovered, inspiration found …and a life changed.
In 1985, while shopping in an antique store in Bath, England, Cynthia Murphy came across a beautiful and very old Asian embroidery. It spoke to her and became the first of many historic textiles she would collect. This was the beginning of a passion and a craft that would change Cynthia’s life and career.
Cynthia’s eye for beauty, and her appreciation for how different cultures develop their stylistic approach and techniques, has driven her to collect textiles on a global basis. Within each piece, she recognizes social influences— fashion, ritual, symbolism, status, honor— that go beyond aesthetics and deepen the cultural connection. This extra dimension beyond beauty fuels Cynthia’s true passion for collecting.
She first selected rich, intricate, 18th and 19th century embroideries and brocades from France, England and Italy. Then, as her curiosity was piqued, she added Asian needlework, Turkish weavings and Persian silks. Cynthia’s special interest in Art Deco and Arts & Crafts design expanded the scope of her collection.
After graduating from the New York School of Interior Design, Cynthia set her sights on finding a way to leverage her education, love of design, and passion for antique textiles into a venture that would breathe new life into these historical treasures. Her appreciation for the value that these textiles had in earlier cultures and societies gave her a vision of creating an object of art— a one-of-a-kind pillow, blurring the lines between eras and designed to play a key part in the interiors of today.
Her approach is to focus on a historic piece, then add complementary elements. In this way, she creates something unique, as well as modern. Cynthia’s design signatures are rich textures that repeat and contrast, a gentle play of historic patina with unexpectedly fresh colors and delightful mixes of materials. The end result is a once-in-a-lifetime possession—something as simple as a pillow and, yet, so much more.
Each historic textile has a hidden story and is researched by experts and documented for its role and place in history. And each is hand-stitched by experts. Today, the collection is offered to the design community, professionals, and novices alike, as a way of inviting people into the passion of Cynthia’s design imagination.
Cynthia Murphy’s creations bring both the past and present into your own designs for today and beyond.