Meet Thomas Murray

Thomas Murray is an independent researcher, collector, lecturer and private dealer of Asian and Tribal art with an emphasis on Indonesian sculpture and textiles, as well as animistic art from other varied cultures. He also features Indian Trade Cloths from the 14th-18th Centuries.

A HALI magazine Contributing Editor for the last 30 years, he serves as their “in-house” expert on all tribal sculpture and textiles, with over 50 publications. His most recent books, “Textiles of Japan,” “Rarities From the Himalayas to Hawaii,” and “Textiles of Indonesia,” were met with critical acclaim. Thomas Murray is past President of ATADA, The Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association and served a three-year term as a member of President Obama’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee at the State Department. In a letter from a White House, President Obama said, “This dedicated individual brings a wealth of experience and talent to his new role and I am proud to have him serve in the months and years to come.”

Thomas Murray continues to consult with museums and private clients all over the world.

Exploring the World and Collecting Art

Thomas Murray Vitage Portrait from Travels

“I have spent four decades traveling the world and collecting art. I come from a long line of explorers. My uncle Fenton Kilkenny was a great sea captain who sailed through the Philippines, Borneo, Sulawesi, and the Moluccas. He was also a great storyteller and would tell us kids about his adventures and discoveries. He was the first to inspire me to travel.

“In 1978, I arrived in Asia on a trip that changed my life. All the myth and magic of the indigenous cultures I had studied as a student of psychology and anthropology came together, no longer just in books but in real life. I was hooked!

For more than forty years, I have been studying the tribal minorities of Asia, specializing in shamanic inspired art. I have written over 50 published articles and essays in my capacity as Contributing Editor of HALI and other Magazines, and have lectured and exhibited all over the world.

Thomas Murray, Author:

A contributing editor to HALI Magazine for more than thirty years has more than fifty publications to his name, including numerous articles on tribal art and textiles, as well as eight books and catalogues: Indonesian Tribal Art (2001), Animistic Art of Island Asia (2008), Masks of Fabled Lands (2009), Pairs, Couples and Maternity: The Art of Two (2014), C-14 Dating of Dayak Art (2015), Textiles of Japan (2018),  Rarities – From the Himalayas to Hawaii (2019) and Textiles of Indonesia (2021).