BY PAMELA KEECH
If you pop by Foursquare Antiques, Furniture & Fine Art at its new location on South Walnut soon, you might be able to get in on some of the 10,000 buttons owner Matt Murphy just acquired from a Florida estate sale. Or a player piano that almost works. Or a papier-mâché head of John the Baptist.
Foursquare may have everything you want and nothing you need. Murphy, 45, is a devout fan of the found object, especially if it’s in situ. “I love getting into any kind of space where things have just been left. I don’t care what it is—clothespins, a comb—the longer it’s been there, the better.” Lately he’s been salvaging curiosities from the old Holcomb & Hoke factory in Indianapolis, famous for making Butter-Kist popcorn machines back in the 1920s.
Foursquare’s former location on West Kirkwood was a small house with limited room for the large architectural antiques Murphy collects from his other business, contracting and remodeling. The new store is an industrial building with enough space for anything he fancies—found, bought, or made. “I have a lot of doors and millwork,” he says. “I love Masonic regalia—Odd Fellows is my favorite. This stock is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Murphy says the store is “kind of a rough sketch now.” He might recruit area craftspeople to collaborate on developing lines of furniture and lighting, and he wants to carry local art that he likes. “I don’t want to limit myself to the broken record of reclaimed rustic and industrial furniture. That’s why I think bringing craftspeople and tradespeople in who have other ideas is important to keep it fresh. Left to my own devices, I’m too busy. Things will get stale.”
Shop assistants are already designing: The business card was made by letterpress artist Kim Ransdell; another staff member practices her vintage penmanship on price tags.
“People who create or make anything should always feel free to call me, or drop by with samples, or email photographs and see if it’s something I like.”
Foursquare is located at 350 S. Walnut. For more information, call 337-8577 or email [email protected].