It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

William Morris - Inspiration and Realization for 150 years

(Presentation Pack to accompany the Morris & Company stamps, produced by Royal Mail and released on May 5, 2011)

Morris and Co. inspired a generation of designers and manufacturers and was a shaping influence on the Arts and Crafts movement that flourished during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. William Morris (1834-96) developed early on two life long passions: a love of nature and creative interest in history. He was briefly trained in architecture but was primarily an artist focusing on applied rather than fine art. He designed furniture, painted tiles, wallpapers, textiles, embroideries and stained glass. He had met Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rosetti while studying at Oxford University and formed a Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood group with them. In April 1861 they formed their own firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company. The other partners of the firm were the painter Ford Madox Brown, Brown’s associate Peter Marshall and their friend Charles Faulkner who was a mathematician  This partnership was usually shortened to Morris & Co. 

William Morris revived the pre-industrial techniques for his textiles, he taught himself dyeing with natural, organic colors and also tapestry weaving and was always striving for the highest standards in materials and workmanship. The original Morris & Co. was closed in 1940 but purchased by Arthur Sanderson & Sons Ltd who is continuing in the same tradition of designing timeless patterns.

To commemorate the continuous influence and inspiration of  William Morris and Morris and Co for designers from the Arts and Crafts Movement to Modernism around the world, Royal Mail has produced a new stamp set which was released on May 5th 2011. 

 William Morris' work is pictured on two of the recently released stamps: Cray furnishing fabric (left) and Acanthus tile panel (right)

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