My Muses

 My Muses





I come from a family of fashionistas.  My maternal grandmother, Madeline Hall Wheeler, a diminutive 4"11"woman didn't know she was short and never felt limited to wearing petite accessories. My earliest memories of her were going into her crowded bedroom--closets overflowing with clothes, shoes, purses, belts, and hats. Her dresser drawers were filled with silk flowers; leather gloves in all lengths and colors; costume jewelry; colorful cabbage flower hankies.  Drawers of silk scarves, still with the aroma of her perfume.  A cacophony of colors and textures.

As a young woman, she severely burned her arms while wearing and cleaning a pair of leather gloves.  She was left with severe scarring on both arms, which she never hid.  Instead she wore short sleeve tops in the summer with her arms loaded with noisy bracelets.  I loved to see her get off the train in Baltimore when she came to visit us from her home Wilmington, Delaware.  She was always impeccably dressed, never without hat and gloves. As she aged and needed a cane, she painstakingly adorned it with rhinestones and silk flowers that she changed with the seasons.

My mother, Madeline Wheeler Murphy, never left the house without her "Love that Red " Revlon lipstick.  My mother collaborated with her seamstress using designer patterns to make beautiful, stylish clothes. A master knitter, she coordinated her stunning sweaters to compliment her outfits.

My mother was an excellent seamstress. And much to my chagrin, she made all my clothes because she hated anything that was "ordinary." As a teenager I would have given anything to dress like the other girls who wore store bought clothes. It was not until years later that I would appreciate and emulate my mother and grandmother's creativity and fashion sense.


In 1983, after a career as studio artist, painter and printmaker, I stopped making art and became an art administrator, art advisor, curator and art dealer.( 


But in 1992 I felt the desire to create again.  It began with restringing my old necklaces.  Then I took a class on beaded jewelry. I discovered that making jewelry was akin to painting and drawing with colored beads and wire and that the female s torso was akin to a blank canvas. I began designing jewelry with that in mind. 


I work in my studio in complete silence, designing and assembling each piece myself. No sketches; just the beads talking to me.

So it is against the background of growing up with my two Madeline muses-bodacious, glamorous, and fearless women who influenced me to create unique jewelry.


I invite you to become one of my beloved collectors and denounce the ordinary.

Sit down and have fun browsing my website.


Chicago jewelry designer Madeline Murphy Rabb is an internationally recognized artist with over 30 years of experience as a painter, collector, arts patron, world traveler, fine art consultant, lecturer, curator of private collections and arts administrator.


Our jewelry is available for purchase on this website, or by special sales events at my atelier.  You can always contact us for details to make a private appointment to shop as well.






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