Marian McEvoy loves folk art, tramp art, and virtually any other art created by the human hand. And though she’s been creating her own original artwork for years, the fashion and design publishing icon wants to make one thing perfectly clear: “I’m not an artist,” she says, “I’m an artisan.”
McEvoy, the founding editor of Elle Décor, a former editor of Women’s Wear Daily in Paris, and former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful, has been a respected and influential curator of style for decades. Her keen sense of design and composition are innate gifts honed over a lifetime in the visual arena; she’s now enjoying her second career as an artisan, creating whimsical collages of pressed flowers, leaves, and other natural elements at her home in New York’s Hudson River Valley.
When McEvoy left full-time magazine work behind, she focused on what she could make with her own two hands. “I used to be a big seashell person,” she says, “and I once ‘shelled’ nearly an entire apartment on East 60th Street in New York.” Working on scaffolding, McEvoy created ceiling medallions and framed a pair of giant mirrors, then encrusted the hearths of two large fireplaces entirely in seashells. These days, she’s happiest working in the meticulously organized sunlit craft room of her home in New York’s southern Dutchess County.
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WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY EDWARD MCCANN
This story appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of MILIEU.