Making Dante's Dream come true.

25 Mar 2012

On the Morris anniversaries.

As most of you may know, yesterday was the 178th anniversary since William Morris' birth. Happy birthday and also hope all of you had a nice early Spring Saturday! I'm using this particular date as an opportunity to share with you some interesting things I've come across lately.

My mum's British friend gave her this magazine on decoration and architecture (apparently they feature the best houses in the world) some weeks ago and she spotted a nice article on William Morris. Obviously, she told me immediatly about it so I could check. I'm sorry it's in Spanish and most of you won't understand (although I have loads of visitors from Spain ;)), but really there's nothing new we didn't know.

Unsurprisingly the title reads "William Morris, a medieval gentleman". It explains briefly some aspects of his life, including the well-known quote about his death caused by having worked as ten men. Regarding the topic this magazine deals with, it focuses on his designing career and the Arts and Crafts Movement.

So, basically they say last year (this is from the December 2011 issue) was the 150th anniversary since the establishment of Morris & Co. (1861). For this reason, some companies are selling fabrics, wallpapers and other items with his designs. They talk about Sanderson but I've gone through the web page and haven't found anything (maybe you'll be luckier, or simple they've removed it since it's not 2011 anymore). Instead I found something that looks like an official web page, and at the bottom there are the different companies that distribute the items, I think. They have some interesting information and the designs that are sold can be found there too, with links to the different companies that sell on different countries.

Moving on, I'll show you some Morris works from the V&A I had the chance to see last time I was in London.

The Morris Cabinet (1861-1862), made by Morris & Co., showing the legend of St. George and the Dragon and the Princess Sabra. The design its Philip Webb's, but it was painted by Morris. According to the description, they worked mainly on painted furniture during their first years. Apparently, Jane Morris modelled as the Princess. Some pics in detail here:

There's an interesting audio article in the V&A web page on this piece.

This one is Strawberry Thief, read about it here.

More wallpaper designs, and another article on them here. There's a lot of information in the Museum's web page, so have a look if you want more to read.

And as for shopping, I got this nice book, where you can have a big number of his designs all gathered and also, it comes with a CD:

This post has been more work-centered, but well, I think he would've approved, wouldn't he? And remember: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

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