Saturday, October 05, 2013
I mentioned appropriation recently, and William Morris. Morris was equally disenfranchised with his own time, the Victorian era. He didn't like what he perceived as the clutter and tackiness of the time, and harked back to the medieval era. He yearned for quality and simplicity in all aspects of life. A true Renaissance man, Morris was a textile designer, writer, poet, publisher, translator, conservationist and socialist often at odds with the society of his time. Associated with the Arts and Crafts movement and Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Morris was perhaps most famous in his time for his flourishing wallpaper and textile business, Morris & Co.
I recently paid a visit to the William Morris gallery in Walthamstow, north-east London, where Morris was born. The museum recently won the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013 and it's easy to see why. The museum tells the story of Morris' varied life and career through original designs, wallpaper, furniture, stained glass, books, ceramics and many other treasures. It's all housed in a magnificent, Grade II* listed Georgian house, set in Lloyd Park. William lived in the house for eight years as a young man (the house he was born in has been demolished). It's a stunning, fascinating museum and well worth a visit.