William Morris

William Morris was born on March 24, 1834, at Elm House, Walthamstow. He was the third of nine children and the oldest child of William and Emma Shelton Morris. His famile was very well off and during Morris's youth became increasingly wealthy: at twenty-one, Morris had an income of £900, quite a sum in those days.

Childhood
•Morris's childhood was a happy one. He was spoiled by everyone, and was rather tempermental, as in fact he would be for the rest of
his life: he would throw his dinner out of the window if he did not approve of the manner in which it had been prepared. He was smitten at a very early age, as many young gentlemen of his day were, with a great passion for all things mediaeval.

At age four he began to read Sir Walter Scott's Waverley Novels, and he had finished them all by the time he was nine.

which permanently strained Morris's relationship not only with Jane herself but also with the man who had been first one of his heroes and then one of his closest friends. playing Guenevere this time. and within a few years of their marriage. . Morris's marriage was a very difficult one: Jane was moody and frequently ill. had embarked upon a long affair with Rossetti.1859 •In 1859 Morris married Jane at Oxford.

1862 •In 1862 Morris designed the first of many enormously influential wallpapers for the Company. .

1870 •1870 saw the publication of Morris's prose translation of the Volsunga Saga. of the ongoing Industrial Revolution. unemployment. •Morris saw the Socialist movement as a way to resolve the problems his problems of poverty. The Story of the Volsungs. He also thought that the movement could help fix the death of art and the growing gap between the upper and lower Classes which he saw as being the pervasive legacy. in Victorian society. .

In July. 1887 Morris was arrested after a demonstration in London. sold socialist literature on street corners. went on speaking tours. .1887 •Over the next few years Morris wrote socialist pamphlets. encouraged and participated in strikes and took part in several political demonstrations.

. Morris political views had been influenced by the anarchist theories of Peter Kropotkin.189 1 •In 1891 William Morris became seriously ill with kidney disease. He continued to write on socialism and occasionally was fit enough to give speeches at public meetings.

is the only public museum devoted to England's best known and most versatile designer. The Gallery is located at Walthamstow in Morris's family home from 1848 to 1856.WILLIAM MORRIS GALLERY •The William Morris Gallery. the former Water House. a substantial Georgian dwelling of about 1750 which is set in its own extensive grounds (now Lloyd Park). opened by Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1950. .

rugs. stained glass and painted tiles designed by Morris himself. carpets. wallpapers. There are permanent displays of printed. furniture. woven and embroidered fabrics.WILLIAM MORRIS GALLERY •The Gallery's internationally important collections illustrate William Morris's life. . work and influence.

such as his design for the printed textile Iris. .Wallpapers •The intricate layering and intertwining of organic forms in Morris's patterns for wallpapers. are still instantly recognizable today. and textiles. such as Jasmine.

http://www1.walthamforest. Daisy and Trellis. Both designs were registered in February 1864 and the wallpapers were hand-printed for Morris by Jeffrey & Company of Islington.gov.uk/wmg/images/daisy1.DAISY WALLPAPER •Morris designed two wallpapers. in the early 1860s when he was living at Red House. The Daisy pattern was directly inspired by a wall-hanging depicted in a 15th-century manuscript of Froissart’s Chronicles.gif . Morris used similar ‘clumps’ of flowers for embroidery and tile designs of the 1860s.

he wanted to make the pattern ‘very elaborate and splendid … to honour our helpful stream’. Morris began the design in September 1883. writing to his daughter Jenny that.WANDLE CHINTZ •Like a number of Morris’s chintz patterns of the 1880s. Surrey. Wandle is named after a tributary of the river Thames. . although ‘the wet Wandle is not big but small’. the Wandle being the stream which flowed past the Morris & Company workshops at Merton Abbey.

the sinuous vertical meander is especially prominent. as curtain fabric). Staffordshire.g.MARIGOLD WALLPAPER AND CHINTZ MARIGOLD WALLPAPER AND CHINTZ •The Marigold pattern was one of relatively few which Morris used for both wallpapers and printed textiles. Marigold was one of the first textiles to be printed . whereas the pattern-structure is more subtly suggested in a draped textile (e. .for Morris by Thomas Wardle at his factory at Leek.on both cotton and silk . As a wallpaper.

according to May Morris. where Morris & Co.BROTHER RABBIT CHINTZ •The Brother Rabbit pattern was inspired. . It was one of the first textiles to be printed at Merton Abbey. by the ‘Uncle Remus’ stories which her father was reading to the family at their Hammersmith home. moved its workshop premises at the end of 1881. Kelmscott House.

and ink.Emery Walker Papers •The woodcut initials and intricate borders are directly related to the ornamentation of Morris's tapestries. The initials were produced using a modern electrotyping process. and wallpapers. woodcut illustrations. alongside the type. paper. . chintzes. and were later imitated by scores of commercial and fine presses in England and (especially) the U. They were specially designed to contribute to the total visual effect of the Kelmscott book.S.

Bloody Sunday •Four months later he participated in what became known as Bloody Sunday. Death Song. Alfred Linnell. The following week. . a friend. when three people were killed and 200 injured during a public meeting in Trafalgar Square. was fatally injured during another protest demonstration and this event resulted in Morris writing.

His embrace of socialism was a response to the new conditions of labor resulting from the industrialization of Britain. .Socialist •He became a committed socialist. joining the Democratic Federation and later founding the Socialist League and working tirelessly as a political activist.

to print books "with the hope of producing some which would have a definite claim to beauty." For Morris.Books •He founded the Kelmscott Press. . named after his beloved home. the book was an art object to be appreciated in the same way as a beautiful home or a painting.

rather than the first. . a thirteenth-century collection of lives of the saints. was chosen because of its centrality to medieval culture as well as its association with some of the most important early printers.The Golden Legend •The Golden Legend finally appeared as the seventh book from the Kelmscott press. The text. as was originally intended.

The Firm joined a number of companies competing to meet the demand for stained glass created by the mid-nineteenth-century boom in church-building inspired by the Gothic Revival and the Anglican High Church movement.THE DECORATION OF CHURCHES •Morris & Company made an important contribution to the development of church decoration in the nineteenth century. .

Its Growth and Outcome (1893). •William Morris died on 3rd October.Last Few Years •In his last few years of his life Morris wrote Socialism. Manifesto of English Socialists (1893) The Wood Beyond the World (1894) and Well at the World's End (1896). 1896. .

. who took over as artistic director of the Firm and guided it almost until its end. but in that of countless other artists and designers who. not only in the work of his protégé John Henry Dearle (18601932). His influence extended from the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late nineteenth century to the organic modernism of Frank Lloyd Wright in America and the stark functionalism of the Bauhaus in Europe. for a century and a half.Legacy •Morris's ideas lived on even after his death. have looked to Morris for inspiration.

13 Oct. 2007 <http://www. •4.uk/wmg/about. •2.Bibliography •1.schoolnet. 2007 <http://www1.gov.spartacus. . 2007 <http://www.walthamforest. •3.walthamforest.victorianweb.html>.htm>.uk/wmg/free. 14 Oct. 19 Oct.uk/Jmorris.gov.htm>. 16 Oct.htm>. 2007 <http://www1.co.org/authors/morris/wmbio.

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