Our Art Issue is on newsstands now, full of the homes of fascinating artists and collectors. Crane Brothers’ founder Murray Crane’s home was in our Art Issue 2013. Recently we caught up with him to check on his latest art acquisitions, as well as his fashion and shopping picks of the season.
HOME Our annual art issue is currently on newsstands. Which New Zealand artists do you most admire, and want to collect at the moment?
MURRAY CRANE That is a hard question: There are so many, and luckily having an Art Friend [Crane’s partner, Melanie Roger, runs an eponymous Auckland gallery] means we have a great collection together. Wherever possible we try to collect our contemporaries and buy what we love rather than as an investment. We have great work from Michael Parekowhai, Shane Cotton, Kirstin Carlin, Ava Seymour, Gordon Walters, Sam Mitchell, Gavin Hurley, Peter Stichbury, Joe Sheehan, Bill Culbert and Tony Fomison. My most recent purchase was a work by Imogen Taylor for Melanie.
As the long, hot summer comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about winter attire. What acquisitions are you looking to make for your winter wardrobe?
This year is all about tailored separates for me: blazers and jackets teamed with dress trousers as an alternative to a suit. I also am really looking forward to our new knitwear, especially the long-sleeve polo.
There’s a birthday party coming up for a man who’s notoriously hard to buy for. What gifts would you recommend?
People tell me that about me. I got a Bonsai recently as a gift and that was a great idea I thought. If you’re wanting to buy clothes but aren’t certain, a Crane Brothers Made to Measure voucher is always a safe and well received gift. I’m also a big fan of Postalco stationery, which is made in Japan. I visited them last year in Tokyo. What sets their designs apart are their supreme utility blended with the beauty of understatement. I also admire Drakes, one of the most influential tie makers in the world, whose products we stock exclusively in Crane Brothers. All their ties are hand-made in London, and the beauty and quality of the fabrics is obvious.
The 20th anniversary of our Home of the Year award is coming up. What are your favourite homes from the past 19 years?
It’s interesting, after looking at all of the previous winners, to realise that I prefer the more recent victors, because they are designed and owned once again by my contemporaries. I like the 2010 winner, Te Kaitaka by Stevens Lawson, for its respect for its Wanaka setting, the 2012 Under Pohutukawa House by Herbst Architects for its perfection and the most recent winner, Nat Cheshire’s Eyrie cabins on the Kaipara, for their arrogance. They’re all beautiful buildings at one with their landscapes.