designed wallpaper, fabric and tile patterns, which have remained
in production for over a century. Widely acknowledged as the
father of the Arts & Crafts movement in England and North America,
Morris worked to re-establish the value of hand crafted work
in the industrial 19th century. His dictum: "Have nothing in
your houses which you do not know to be useful, or believe to
be beautiful" is as valid today as it was when he wrote it in
A man of prodigious
energy, Morris was also a painter, and a respected poet who
was asked to be England's poet laureate by Queen Victoria, an
honour he declined. Morris' other talents included designing
and weaving tapestries and carpets, designing furniture and
designing the typography for his own books.
His visionary writings
in his book News from Nowhere described a future Britain where
art, peace, decency and harmony with nature have triumphed. Morris
also founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings,
which continues Morris' work today. |
William Morris established the firm of Morris, Marshall,
Faulkner & Co. - "Fine Art Workmen" in 1861 with six partners. The "Firm" was
to produce high quality decorative work by hand on a commercial
basis. Stained glass, furniture, frescoes and embroideries
were produced during this period.
In 1874, the firm was reorganized and Morris & Co. was
formed. A prolific period of designing took place in the 1870's
and 1880's with Morris' designs appealing to enthusiasts of
the Arts & Crafts movement. Simpler interior design was
becoming fashionable, based on natural patterns and materials.
William Morris died in 1896 and Morris & Co. continued
until 1905 when it was renamed Morris & Co. Decorators
Ltd. Success continued through 1925 with yet another name change:
Morris & Company Art Workers Ltd. With the onslaught of
the Depression, business declined and the "Firm" was
liquidated in 1940. At that time Arthur Sanderson & Sons
Limited acquired Morris' original wallpaper printing blocks
from Jeffrey and Co. who printed wallpapers and fabrics for
Morris & Co.
Today, there are several companies - in Canada, the United States and England - including Charles Rupert Designs, that currently print many of the original Morris & Co. designs, in both wallpaper and fabric, using archival documents from museums or their own collections.
Historic Style has gathered designs from the many companies now producing William Morris designs. With this wide range of sources of William Morris designs, we now offer the widest choice of Morris designs available anywhere in one location.
Many of William Morris' designs have been in continuous production
for over 130 years, which speaks to their enduring appeal.
His designs were at the forefront of the development of the
Arts & Crafts movement in England, and are just as appropriate
to today's restoration or construction of Arts & Crafts
style homes in North America.
Comfortable in houses of any age, the enduring beauty of William
Morris' designs can be enjoyed in your own home today.
also worked for Morris and Co. They included:
Dearle was a prolific designer of wallpapers and fabrics for
Morris & Co. He began as an assistant in the glass studio
in 1873 and was responsible for many of the wallpaper designs
in the 1890's and later. He collaborated with Morris on tapestry
designs, and became artistic director of the firm after Morris'
death in 1896.
May was Morris' youngest daughter. She designed textiles and
wallpapers for Morris & Co. and produced embroidery commissions
for the firm. She also managed the firm's embroidery workshop
from 1886 and was responsible for embroidering the inscription
on The Woodpecker tapestry. After her father's death she edited
24 volumes of his writing.
Webb was an architect whose first independent commission was
to design the Red House for William Morris in 1859. Webb also
designed much of the furniture for the house, and later was
responsible for much of the furniture design for Morris &
Co. One of his last commissions was the great 1893 Arts
& Crafts house "Standen" near East Grinstead in Sussex, which
is now preserved by the National Trust.
William De Morgan
Probably best known as one of England's best pottery and tile
designers, De Morgan started working for Morris & Co.
in the early years, when he also designed stained glass. Many
of his richly coloured tile designs were based on Persian designs.
His pottery was responsible for reviving the taste for lustre
decoration. In later life he became a novelist of distinction.
A lifelong friend of William Morris, Burne-Jones is best known
for his paintings, but also collaborated with Morris on the
design of tapestries, stained glass and on the decoration of
furniture and interiors. Burne-Jones was one of seven founding
members of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. in 1861. His last
joint venture with Morris was the Kelmscott Press.