Interview of Maria Pergay at Place des Vosges 2012
A film by Pamela Hanson
I learned that one can live, create, and transform materials into poetry. And when they speak, they tell things that are secret, useful, desirable, or mysterious.
Born in Romania in 1930 to Russian parents, Maria Pergay emigrated to France with her family at the age of seven, settled in Paris, and in the ensuing decades evolved into one of the most inventive and celebrated designers of the day. Today, Pergay's designs remain timeless.
This rare video of Pergay was taken by film maker Pamela Hanson in 2012 in tandem with Maria Pergay: Place des Vosges, an exhibition which celebrated Pergay’s extraordinary career and life.
In 1957, Pergay’s silver objects set the tone for a lifelong tendency to defy current trends and work outside the boundaries of her contemporaries. Drawing inspiration from antiquity, Japanese art and especially from the intuitive nature of her materials, Pergay showed as little concern for personal recognition as she did for what others were doing. She operated outside the mainstream to the extent that many of her pieces would not become fashionable until years after they were created. Much like Eileen Gray, whose genius was also widely neglected because of her gender, Pergay created for her own pleasure—exhibiting and selling to clients, while quietly receiving important private commissions.