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Meet : William Morris

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Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

It may be a little silly to "introduce" our readers to William Morris, whom I'm sure many of you are familiar with, but I came across this quote the other day and was struck by how perfectly inspiring it is in its simplicity. It reminded me of what fascinating figure Morris was and how truly endless his influence has been for the worlds of art and design ever since. As architect, printer, textile and furniture designer, poet, and theorist, he has been called the grandfather of Modernism. Also, he was really into crafts. It's been nice to look at his work again with a fresh eye and consider how amazingly versatile his skills were, applied across so many different media, and all with an eye to truth in materials, simplicity, and a great respect for the handmade. You can read more about his life here, and see examples of his textiles at the Metropolitan Museum's website, and also on the website for the Victoria and Abert Museum in London, which has a huge online collection, a great resource for any kind of inspiration.

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The image above is a Morris design for textiles and wallpaper, (Willow design for printed cotton about 1895, Produced by Osborne & Little for Liberty & Co., 1975.) It is still produced by Liberty of London today, you can see more examples of Liberty fabrics at Purl, they are a big favorite of ours.

Top image: Fruit (or pomegranate) wallpaper; Designed and first issued 1866; Printed by Jeffrey & Co. for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., Printed from woodblocks.

Comments (2)

  • I have been a great fan of Morris for many years. The aesthetics of his designs are so beautiful, showing that nature has such geometry and pattern. I am still amazed that he had so much talent working in so many mediums.

  • William Morris was one of the best and one of my favorites. His textile designs and tapestries are amazing and unique.
    This is a very important and wonderful post,
    Thanks!

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