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Posts Tagged ‘William Morris Wallpaper’

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. In the middle of Lloyd Park sits a beautiful a grand Georgian house, and is entirely dedicated to the celebration of the Arts and Crafts designer. The house, the work and the atmosphere all make it well worth a trip; here are some of my highlights.

Illustrated Book by William Morris

The gallery is filled with William’s best and brightest work, from the beginning and end of his life, and continuing after his death as his company Morris & Co. lived on, and still continues today. The tapestry below was a rather unique piece in the collection, and although it was made in 1885, it has a very medieval quality to it, and is an ode to Morris’s love of storytelling.

Tapestry by William Morris

Cray Block Printed Cotton by William Morris

This intricate, floral design was created using natural vegetable dyes and needed thirty-four different woodblocks to complete the finished look; showing the dedication that Morris and his team put into their work.

There are all sorts of different pieces on display at the gallery, including this fireplace surround, which is beautifully decorated with Longden tiles in a sunny yellow, which have been attributed to Philip Webb who worked closely alongside William throughout his career.

Longden Tiles by Philip Webb

If you know William Morris, you’re probably aware of his ideologies that contributed to his style of work, and his return to art forms prior to the Victorian era. Morris created his work in protest to the industrial revolution, and the way it treated the workers as well as the quality of the work that was produced. Here, Morris designed this chair for his lodgings in London, and its style reflects a medieval style with painted panels; which was an era that Morris much admired.

Medieval Style Chair by William Morris

The gallery also featured a segment from William Morris’s first wallpaper design, Trellis, which also reflected his love for medieval art once again, and was based on a medieval style walled garden he had created at his home, Red house.

Trellis Wallpaper Design by William Morris

This Flowerpot embroidery, was an affordable design which proved very popular, and was made by May Morris, Morris’s very talented daughter; the design looks like it was perfectly made for a feature cushion.

Flowerpot Embroidery by William Morris

Another wallpaper design that really caught my eye was the Lily and Pomegranate design. It’s meticulous detail shows the craftsmanship that went into each and every piece; the background is made up of dots, which is intricate work and Morris is quoted as saying on the design “after taking all the trouble to draw it, do you think I’d be such a fool as not to do the dots?”

Lily and Pomegranate Wallpaper design by William Morris

May Morris, William’s daughter also had her own career as a designer and an embroiderer; and had an exhibition at the gallery as well. Her work was absolutely glorious, full of light and elegance.

Work by May Morris

This piece is absolutely luminous; there’s a delicacy it is and softness that is different to her father’s work.

Work by May Morris

This design was by far my favourite thing in the whole gallery. Intricate embroidery on a sheer silk background, shows off not only style but skill. The golden thread still shimmers today, holding all of its life even after all this time; it’s a truly breath-taking piece.

Detailing of Work by May Morris

Written on the wall in May Morris’ exhibition is a quote by her in her later life saying “I’m a remarkable woman – always was, though none of you seemed to think so”, which I thought was rather brilliant. Under the shadow of her father and his company, May Morris shined, although not in her own name, but today she get the celebration she deserves, and she truly does deserve it.

 

For more information on the William Morris Gallery visit their website www.wmgallery.org.uk/

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