William Morris (1834–1896) is acknowledged as the leader of the British Arts and Crafts movement of the second half of the nineteenth century. His enterprise, originally founded as Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Company in 1861, became Morris & Company in 1875. They produced a variety of decorative arts, with textiles and wallpapers comprising a large portion of their artistic output. In 1923, the Metropolitan acquired the institution’s first examples from the oeuvre of Morris & Company, and a selection of these are shown in this installation. According to the printed company logo on the selvages, the printed textiles bought that year were produced after Morris & Company moved to Hanover Square, London, in 1917. Like the printed textiles, the wallpapers and the woven fabrics were probably produced later than their original design date, attesting to their perennial appeal.
This gallery rotation is planned to complement The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design from the Metropolitan’s Collection (May 20–October 26, 2014).
Some of William Morris’ textile designs below: