William Morris, St. George cabinet 1861-1862 - designed by his friend Philip Webb and painted by Morris himself
and his friends, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones for Red House, Morris's first married home
Before Roycroft and Stickley... Before the term "mission-style" increased the price of anything with slats, there was the English Arts and Crafts movement, there was William Morris, and with him the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
William Morris patterns have been popular since the end of the 19th century and have never lost their appeal. With Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Arthur Hughes, his lifelong friend, Edward Burne-Jones, and the other Pre-Raphaelites, he changed the direction of English art, architecture, and design -- and began a return to values of craftsmanship and quality materials that continue to enjoy a renaissance in these areas. I write more about this in my article, On William Morris: The Soul of Arts and Crafts. I also love Terri Windling's article on the Pre-Raphaelites and Writers of Fantasy and recommend it to you highly.
The first William Morris Tiles were created for Red House, Morris's first married home. He handpainted the porch tiles himself for Red House:
The tiles in the image are faded. Although each tile was painted individually, and hence there is some vriation, they probably looked more like:
Other tiles from Red House were blue and white farm birds, and were represented in yellow and black in stained glass in the upstairs corridor. These birds, designed by architect Philip Webb, were also painted by hand. Later Morris & Co. tile offerings included an expanded set of bird tiles by Philip Webb.
Red House was designed for Morris by his friend, architect Philip Webb. Its location was along the path that the pilgrims would have walked in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Morris professed that Chaucer was his chief master in poetry, and much of Morris's poetry (particularly, The Earthly Paradise follows Chaucerian meter and other subtle patterns. Morris created Red House as a Chaucerian home, with medieval tapestries and themes throughout.
Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company ('the Firm') was created over an amiable dinner at the Morris home, Red House. Founding members included William Morris himself, Edward Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Ford Maddox Brown, Philip Webb, and Charles Faulkner. Marshall, a friend of Ford Maddox Brown, took little part in the artistic activities of the firm and served as accountant.
The first tiles were non-pictoral flower patterns:
but became more ornate and included story tiles such as the fairy tale fireplacepanels:
(click the images to see the whole panel)
William Morris Wallpaper: These are seamless (or pretty close) William Morris wallpaper patterns. .
The forest is not a quiet place in the summer. Small birds roar together, the coded sounds of squirrels tapping their little feet resonate, and the screeches from the occasional colony of peacocks would travel for a mile. Leaves rustle as deer pass through a clearing. Eyes follow visitors from the shadows. Add to this a pony and a proper suit of armor and you can imagine the world through the eyes of an eight-year-old.
Such a boy was William Morris. By 1842, his family had.... Read More
Arts & Crafts is more a philosophy of design than a set of characteristics. At the center of the Arts and Crafts Movement is something holy, a reactionary vision standing against materialism. The the spirit of Arts and Crafts is a kind of kairos, the moment when the spiritual breaks through or incarnates the spiritual into the material worlds of architecture, furnishings and the decorative arts -- and it is from that center of understanding that we can trace its lineage and its future.... Read More
William De Morgan originally oversaw the stained glass efforts at Morris & Co. He was interested in, and had a talent for, ceramics. He went on to start his own tile works. Morris & Co. stopped producing their own tiles and De Morgan eventually produced all of Morris & Co.'s tile and ceramics, until he closed his Fulham tileworks some 30 years later.
Arts and Crafts as a style is a 20th century invention; for Victorians, it was a philosophy, even a world view. Arts and Crafts for Ruskin, Morris, De Morgan and their circle described the manner in which a thing was produced. A mass-produced Arts and Crafts style would have been a contradiction in terms.... Read More
Images will appear in their own page when you follow these links:Orange Acanthus Blue Acanthus Artichoke Blue Wandle Daisy Peaches Leaves Small Wandle Irises Wallpaper Wallpaper Marigold Medway Flowertile Flowerpot Chrysanthemums Trellis
Dye Book: 1882 - 1891
Book of Verse 1870
The Pre-Raphaelites are moving to their own page: Please stand by....
If you have your heart set on a particular print, I'll try to help if I can.
You can download a demo version of many Scriptorium's fonts in Zip format or Stuffit for MacOS. (Pick up extraction utilities here.) Installation instructions are included. You can also download a sample version of the font of the month.
Where to Buy William Morris Prints: You can find Morris & Co. art prints at Artsy Craftsy.
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