William Morris: 19th Century Designer and Decorative Artist
|January 14, 2012||Posted by admin under Decorative Art|
A brief introduction to the contributions of this 19th century designer and decorative artist.
If you are at all interested in the history of the decorative arts, then you have probably heard references to William Morris. So who exactly is this man, and why is he so important?
With the wealth of information on the web, you will be able to learn about this influential 19th century artist and designer from a myriad of online sources.
Additionally, there are several excellent monographs about Morris available. One I recommend is entitled simply “William Morris”, and it is edited by Linda Parry. You can read a mini-review about this book below.
The multifaceted achievement of English Victorian designer William Morris (1834-1896) is scrutinized in this ravishing catalogue of a centenary exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Parry, a curator at the museum, opens with a useful biographical sketch. Next, Morris biographer Fiona MacCarthy explores how the Arts and Crafts pioneer’s belief in visual harmony as a basic human function informed his work in embroidery, furniture, domestic decoration, stained glass, painting, wallpapers, engravings, illumination and calligraphy, tapestry, textiles? Areas discussed in greater depth in subsequent essays by British and American design historians and curators.
Other selections succinctly examine Morris’s activities as writer of stories, poems and prose romances, socialist proselytizer, shrewd businessman, conservationist. The closing section presents three contrasting views of Morris: an overrated inspired amateur; an eclectic humanist, forerunner of postmodernism; a pioneer who ironically inspired both left-wing internationalists and ethnic nationalists seeking a vernacular. Featuring 394 color and 161 black-and-white illustrations, this album will thrill Morris devotees.
Finally, if you are already a William Morris addict, you might want to consider joining a William Morris Society, such as The William Morris Society in the United States, and The William Morris Society of Canada.
William Morris Full-Color Patterns and Designs (Dover Pictorial Archive)
Forty beautiful designs by one of Victorian era’s most influential designers. Modestly priced, royalty-free collection of richly detailed patterns, faithfully reproduced from rare 1890s publication. Superb designs for wallpapers, chintzes, velveteens, tapestries, tiles, carpets, more.
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