Steeling Beauty: Maria Pergay
Half a centurty ago, in an era that was all about plastics, the Paris-based designer made a bold move to create sensuous, shapely furniture out of stainless steel
by Jason Mowen
If it’s true that something done with love is done par excellence, then the work of Maria Pergay, the French artist-designer who made stainless steel chic in the 1960s and ’70s, shines in the most wonderful way. From her early days as a self-taught silversmith crafting exquisite, one-off decorative objects, Pergay seems only to have followed her heart, and never the market, when it came to her designs. Many did not become fashionable until years after they were created, but that’s not to say she didn’t attract a cultivated following of devotees along the way: her first collection of furniture, for example, exhibited at Galerie Maison et Jardin in Paris in 1968, was bought outright by couturier Pierre Cardin.