Sunday, April 14, 2024

At home with the Muratas

Nancy and Hiroshi Murata pose in the entry hall of their amazing Santa Fe home. That's Wolfie the guard dog up front while behind is one of Hiroshi's artworks and the motorcycle Nancy rode when they were in grad school at Yale and could afford one car.

The Muratas.

A glowing black and white portrait of the college sweethearts.

Last Wednesday I had the privilege of photographing Nancy and Hiroshi Murata in their splendid Santa Fe home of twenty years. The occasion was a celebration of those art-filled years in the home that Peggy and I both consider the finest we’ve ever spent meaningful time in. How many square feet make a home a mansion anyway? However large the Murata abode is it’s still welcoming and intimate, no mean accomplishment in my view. The dwelling has a commercial kitchen, a screening room, two studios in a separate building, a guest apartment with a kitchen and bath, seven baths and about a thousand bedrooms. I lost count. Anyway, it’s spectacular and they sold it without our permission. We are highly miffed.

Nancy Murata with the earring that completes the ensemble.

Hiroshi in an unposed moment.

If my mission was to capture the magic of Casa Murata I did a pedestrian job. I was so focused on photographing Nancy and Hiroshi in their best light that the house got second shrift if that.

After the portrait session we met our dear friends Carol and David Farmer for lunch at the estimable Santacaf√© where Peggy and I first dined in 1993. Nancy and Hiroshi had never met the Farmers and we’d long thought that they should. Happily, they connected like bees to honey. We expect they will become fast friends as was our intent. Luckily, I brought my abacus so was able to compute that the average length of the marriages in our august gathering was a stunning 62 years. The  Farmer’s won the contest at a remarkable 64 years, followed by the Muratas at 62 and the Immels a paltry 57. 

That’s a story for another time.

1 comment:

Blacks Crossing said...

It was indeed lovely to meet your long-time friends Nancy and Hiroshi Murata via your blog photographs, hear part of the your story with them, and see the motorcycle Nancy used to ride at grad school. The stories that accumulate in 50ish and 60ish years of marriage is quite stunning, and it is great that you introduced the Farmers to Nancy and Hiroshi. With luck, they will be fast friends. We remember your 52 years and our 48 years when we photographed Kara and Eero's wedding. Interesting that the two photographers had the longest marriages in the room. And the stories we could tell....