Morris & Company

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Art Gallery of South Australia, 2002 - Art - 187 pages
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William Morris, one of the most prolific and influential designers of all time, believed objects should be both beautiful and functional. He founded the Arts and Crafts Movement and inspired the Art Nouveau style. His design impetus came from the notion of an organized wholeness of the arts. A student of weaving and embroidery and natural dyes, he developed a passion for national forms and things medieval. In 1861 in London, he formed the partnership of Morris & Co, with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other like-mineded designer-artist-craftsmen. The firm flourished until 1940, designing and manufacturing woven rugs, tapestries and textiles, metalworks and stained glass. Its wallpaper and textile patterns are still reproduced today. Through the Kelmscott Press (1890), Morris used his designs for type and ornamental letters for editions of the classics and of his own works, notably The Kehnscott Chaucer. Throughout his life, from the time he was at Oxford University, and later, informed by travels when he first encountered the great cathedral tapestries of Amiens and Chartres, his thinking and work became a resistance to the mass production of the Industrial Revolution. He wrote: .."..all the minor arts were in a state of complete degradation, especialy in England... and with the conceited courage of a young man I set myself to reforming all that." This publication brings to light new knowledge about his output as it celebrates a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia. (AGSA houses the largest Morris collection outside of Great Britain, including a newly-acquired wallpaper produced for London's St. James Palace.) The color reproductions are of extremely high quality. (ArtGallery of South Australia)

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Morris & Co

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William Morris's name is synonymous with the Art Nouveau movement, which he is considered the father of, and the Arts & Crafts movement, which he greatly influenced. His company, Morris & Co., was one ... Read full review


Directors Foreword
Morris Co 18611940
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