Mark Murphy was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1955. Mark did his foundation studies at Ohio State University from 1973 to 1975, with an emphasis on sculpture. It was there that he started doing constructionist wood sculpture and became interested in woodworking and furniture design. He then finished his studies at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) with a BFA in woodworking and furniture design in 1979. Shortly after that he moved to San Francisco where he started making scale furniture models. It was at that time he met the miniature house builder Pam Throop and started making pieces for her period American and English houses.
In the early years Mark made 18th and 19th century American and English pieces. He then became interested in Arts & Crafts furniture designs (especially the work of Greene & Greene) and also Japanese designs. He is drawn to the beautiful simple designs of the Shakers, Arts & Crafts and Japanese furniture. Mark also does collaboration work with several other miniature artists including Mary O’Brien (painting), Lee-Ann Wessel (ceramics) and Annelle Ferguson (needlework).
Mark, a Fellow of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, has been teaching miniature furniture construction for the past 16 years at the Guild School in Castine, Maine and at various Guild study programs in Williamsburg, VA, Pasadena, CA, Santa Fe, NM and Portland, OR. He shows his work at miniature shows (The Guild show in Teaneck, NY, Philadelphia Miniaturia in Philadelphia, PA and the Tom Bishop Show in Chicago, IL). His work is in private miniature collections and miniature museum collections including the Gateway Center in Maysville, KY and the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City, MO.
Mark now lives in Astoria, OR where he spends most of his time in the studio and his free time walking on the beach or hiking in the coast range with his dog. He finds nature to be his most grounding force.