with Thomas Murray

Special Book Signing

September 7, 2022 / 5:00 PM

Parcours Espace Info
8 bis rue Jacques Callot, Paris

Join me on September 7th in Paris, during the Parcours Des Mondes International Fair, for a book signing of my latest publication Textiles of Indonesia.

Textiles of Indonesia Book by Thomas Murray 2022

Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan

June 25-September 11, 2022

Minneapolis Institute of Art

In 2019, MIA acquired Thomas Murray’s collection of Japanese textiles and will display them this summer. This exhibition will focus on the resourcefulness of humans to create textiles from local materials like fish skin, paper, elm bark, nettle, banana leaf fiber, hemp, wisteria, deerskin, cotton, silk, and wool. It will showcase rare and exceptional examples of robes, coats, jackets, vests, banners, rugs, and mats, made between around 1750 and 1930, including the royal dress of subtropical Okinawa, ceremonial robes of the Ainu from northern Japan and the Russian Far East, and folk traditions from throughout Japan.

This collection was published by Thomas Murray in Textiles of Japan.

As part of the exhibition’s opening programs, Murray gave a lecture in which he explained the various influences that went into why and how he formed the collection and developed his sense of “taste…”

Accounting for Taste: On the Collecting of Textiles from Japan

Sunday, June 26, 2pm


Asia Week NY September 2022

September 14-23, 2022

Online exhibition

This exhibition features shell artwork from some of the most legendary headhunting peoples of Asia, including the greatest shell-decorated garment in the world from the Atayal of Taiwan; a blouse decorated with mother of pearl shell beads from the B’laan of Mindanao, Philippines; an early warrior’s cape from the Naga with appliqued cowrie shells, making a human figure amid circles; and an extraordinary Naga necklace fashioned from giant clam, both from the northeastern highlands of India.


Event Ottoman Influences on Islamic Batik from Indonesia

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2024
1:00-3:00 p.m. PT

Virtual Zoom Lecture – Asian Arts Council hosted by The San Diego Museum of Art
Speaker: Thomas Murray

This lecture will offer a review of the long relationship between Indonesia and Turkey from the 16th century forward; consider the role of spice trade economics on European colonialism and Islamic local resistance; and finally, survey all forms of calligraphic batik, offering a new interpretation of their purpose, which suggests these cloths may have originated earlier than previously identified, and how this tradition continues in an interesting and unexpected ways.

Save your spot. All participants will be sent the Zoom link via confirmation email with instructions once you secure your place.

Featured: Long cloth, kain panjang (detail), Jambi, Sumatra, 19th-early 20th century. Cotton, hand-drawn batik. Private collection. Image courtesy of Thomas Murray.


Archetypes, Aesthetics and Agency: Adat Textiles of Early Indonesian Cultures with Thomas Murray

Indonesian textiles are known to convey messages across time and space by means of an archetypal iconography that include human figures, trees, boats, reptiles, birds and geometric patterns. These encoded images follow ancestral traditions and customary laws known as adat; cloth becomes sacred through a combination of fine spinning, dying, and weaving that creates a sense of aesthetic wonder. The famed anthropologist Alfred Gell referred to this magic state of mind as the “Technology of Enchantment,” the better the weaver’s technique, the greater the cloth’s aesthetic beauty, the more “agency” of spiritual power within an indiginous cultural context. And although we cannot hope to be able to decipher those archetypes in terms of the mindset of the weaver’s community, Gell gives voice to and validates our own experience that such cloths convey messages of wonder and enchantment to us when viewed here in the West… powerful, visually compelling and meaningful… just not the same meaning as in the textile’s original context.

This lecture will follow the themes presented in the newly published book, Textiles of Indonesia, and will focus on some of the finest cloths to come out of the archipelago, presenting each object with impeccable photographs. Geographically arranged, this lecture pays particular attention to textiles from the Batak and the Lampung region of Sumatra, the Dayak of Borneo, and the Toraja of Sulawesi, as well as rare textiles from Sumba, Timor and other islands.

Sponsored by Textile Museum Associates of Southern California


Thomas Murray will be live at both Zoom presentations for Q&A sessions.


For viewers in Far East Asia, Southeast Asia and Down Under

Friday evening, April 22, 2022
7 pm PDT / 10 pm EDT
Saturday, April 23, 2022
9 am Jakarta & Bangkok Time / 2 am GMT



For viewers in the Western Hemisphere, Europe/Africa, the Middle East, through Central and South Asia

Saturday, April 23, 2022
10 am PDT / 1 pm EDT / 5 pm GMT


Objects of Art & American Indian/Tribal

AUGUST 10-13, 2023

El Museo Cultural – in the Railyard
555 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe, NM 87501

We are pleased to announce that we are exhibiting during Santa Fe, Objects of Art & American Indian/Tribal.

Thomas Murray Santa Fe August 2023

Accounting for Taste: On the Collecting of Textiles from Japan

As part of the Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan exhibition’s opening programs, Murray gave a lecture in which he explained the various influences that went into why and how he formed the collection and developed his sense of “taste…”

01:00 – Video Starts
06:20 – Thomas Murray Begins
10:50 – Main Presentation

Featured Book:
Textiles of Japan

Online Exhibition at HALI FAIR

The virtual fair is focused on extraordinary antique textiles from around the globe. Hosted by HALI—the world’s leading magazine on antique textiles—it is the ideal place to source unique, collectible textiles.

Featured Items for Sale:
ITEM 16352 – Woman’s tubular skirt, lavo (opened)

Feaured Book:
Textiles of Indonesia