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Mary Little

Mary Little was born on the Ards peninsular in Northern Ireland. She graduated from The Royal College of Art, London in 1985 with a Masters in Design. Shortly after she moved to Milan, Italy to work in the studios of Massimo Morozzi and Emilio Ambasz. She returned to London in 1989 to set up her own studio and over the next 12 years she exhibited extensively and undertook public and private commissions. In 2001 she accepted a three-month residency at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, CA. This lead to her moving her studio to the Bay Area and teach at CCA. In 2005 she moved to Connecticut, to design furniture for production, returning to California in 2014 and setting up an artist studio in downtown Los Angeles. There, her work evolved; she eliminated the functional element of her work and it became increasingly abstract as she focused on exploring the interplay of texture, rhythm and pattern.


Her work has been included in British publications by critics including Dr. Tanya Harrod, Peter Dormer and Deyan Sudjic - now Director of the Design Museum, London. In the US she has been published in Fabrik Magazine; Artillery, L.A. Times; Luxe Magazine; New York Times; Modern; I.D.; The Curated Object, among others. She has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States from the Übersee-Museum, Bremen, Germany; and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London; to the Textile Museum, D.C.; and Contemporary Craft (formerly the Craft and Folk Art Museum), Los Angeles. In 2018 she had a solo show, “The Shape of Cloth”, at Craft in American Center, L.A. Her work has been acquired for private collections in Europe and North America, as well as public collections including Vitra Design Museum, Basel; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Born in Northern Ireland


1985  Master of Design, Royal College of Art, London UK

1981  Bachelor of Arts (Honors), Ulster Polytechnic, Northern Ireland, UK


Solo Exhibitions

2018  “The Shape of Cloth”, Craft in America, Los Angeles, CA

2017  “Intent & Serendipity”, Google L.A., Los Angeles, CA

2003  “The Knotted and the Stitched”, Tercera Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

1996  “Have a Seat: the Köln Project”, Galerie Andrea Leenarts, Cologne, Germany

1994  “Coat of Arms Collection”, Galerie Valerie, London, UK


Group Exhibitions

2019 Art Market San Francisco, Timothy Yarger Fine Art, San Francisco, CA

2019  LA Art Show, Timothy Yarger Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA

2018  “London Calling”, Musée de la civilization, Québec, Canada

 “Mono | Mano”, SCAPE Gallery, Corona Del Mar, CA

2017  Galen Lowe Gallery, San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show, San Francisco, CA

      “Material As Metaphor”, Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA

      “Harbinger”, Fresh Paint Contemporary Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

      “Gentle & Cruel”, Gallery 310, Los Angeles, CA

2015/16     “Crafted: The Fine Art of Furniture”, National Museums Northern Ireland, Belfast, UK

2015  “California Handmade: State of the Arts”, Craft in America & The Maloof Foundation, Alta Loma, CA

      “Cloth & Clay: New Work by Mary Little and Stephanie Chiacos”, Design Matters Gallery, Los Angeles

2013  Reynolds Fine Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

2012  “Instructions Not Included”, ArtSpace, New Haven, CT

2007  “Private Pleasures: Collecting Contemporary Textile Art”, Textile Museum, D.C.

2005  “Anderson Ranch Art Exhibition”, Anderson Ranch Art Center, CO

2004  “Go West!” Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA 

“Yuten: Fusion Project”, Gensler Architectural Office, San Francisco, CA 

“Form Follows Function”, Craft Alliance Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“California Design 2004”, Design Center, San Francisco, CA 

2003  “Bay Area Furniture Art”, Blue Room Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2002  “Functional Fine Art”, Braunstein/Quay Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Early Spring Show”, Pritam & Eames Gallery, East Hampton, NY

2001  “East to West”, Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco, CA

“Furniture Focus”, Contemporary Applied Art, London, UK

2000/03 “Home Sweet Home”, British Council, International Tour

1999/00 “Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 1999: Furniture”, Crafts Council, London and touring

1999  “A Grand Design”, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

1998  “Spirit of the Times”, Bowes Museum, County Durham, UK

     “London: Form and Function”, Generous Miracles Gallery, New York

1997/98 “Objects of Our Time”, cur. Martina Margetts, American Crafts Council, New York

1997  “Contemporary Decorative Arts”, cur. Janice Blackburn, Sotheby’s, London, UK

1996  “Design Im Wandel”, cur. Alessandro Mendini, Übersee-Museum, Bremen, Germany

1995  “Inaugural”, Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

      “Furniture Today, it’s Craft & Design”, cur. Peter Dormer, Crafts Council, London, UK

      “Cross-over-2”, Galerie Andrea Leenarts, Cologne, Germany

1994  “3 Ways, New Directions in Furniture”, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, UK

1990  “Wood – Mary Little & Anthony Byrant”, WG Gallery, London, UK

1988  “The Modern Chair”, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London, UK

      “Luci”, a Memphis Collection, Milan, Italy


Public Collections

Victoria & Albert Museum, UK

Musée des Arts Décoritifs, France

Fonds national d’art Contemporian, France

Vitra Design Museum, Switzerland

Ulster Museum, Northern Ireland, UK

Manchester City Art Galleries and Museums, UK


Public Art Commissions

2017  Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA

2016  Atelier Luxury Apartments, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

1999  Tyrebagger Sculpture Trust, Scotland, UK

1997  Leicester City Challenge, UK

London Filmmakers Co-Operative, UK

1996  Northumberland County Council, UK

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, UK



2007  The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, US. Good Design Award

      Interior Design: Design magazine, US. Best of Year, Merit Award

1999  Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 1999: Furniture, UK. Shortlist

1993  Harold Hyam Wingate Trust, UK

1992  Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust, UK

Crafts Council, UK



2015  “California Handmade: State of the Arts”, Craft in America & The Maloof Foundation, CA

2000  “Home Sweet Home”, British Council, UK

1999  “Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 1999: Furniture”, Crafts Council, UK

1997  “Objects of Our Time”, Martina Margetts, Crafts Council, UK

1996  “Design Im Wandel”, Alessandro Mendini, Übersee-Museum, Germany

1995  “Furniture Today, it’s Craft & Design”, Peter Dormer, Crafts Council, UK


Residencies and Artist Talks

2018  Artist Talk, Interior Design Magazine’s Top 100 Hospitality Giants Annual Summity, Montreal, Canada, October 29.

      Artist Talk, Craft in America, Los Angeles, CA, April 21.

      Artist Talk, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, April 9.

2017  Talk at Google, Los Angeles, CA

2012-13     Residency, ArtSpace, New Haven, CT

2001  Residency, California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco, CA

1991  Residency, Hooke Park, Beaminster, UK


Teaching Positions. Masters and Undergraduate Programs, Selected

2001’17 California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (Adjunct Professor)

2003/05 Anderson Ranch Art Center, Aspen, CO (summer workshops)

1995/96     Akademie Industriele Vormgeving, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (Visiting Artist)

1993–’96 Middlesex University, UK (External Examiner)

1991–’97 Royal College of Art, UK (Visiting Lecturer)

1990–’92 Buckinghamshire College, UK (Visiting Lecturer)

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