Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Cabinet Decorated with Scenes from ‘The Prioress’s Tale’, Philip Webb and Edward Burne-Jones. This cabinet, designed by Philip Webb and decorated by Burne-Jones, is made from oak and deal and painted in oil. Burne-Jones gave it to William Morris as a wedding present on his marriage to Jane Burden in 1859. This cabinet stood in the Morris' bedroom at Red House
The pattern is "Kelmscott Tree" The bed pelmet, in this pattern, was designed by May Morris, and embroidered by Lily Yeats and Ellen Wright (1891-3). Lily Yeats worked for Morris & Co., under May Morris for six years, some of the most difficult years of her life. Her letters to her family mention May and her temper, the difficulty of working for her, frequently referring to her as a "gorgon".
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Of the painting, the artist wrote:
She is represented in a gloomy corridor of her palace, with the fatal fruit in her hand. As she passes, a gleam strikes on the wall behind her from some inlet suddenly opened, and admitting for a moment the sight of the upper world; and she glances furtively towards it, immersed in thought. The incense-burner stands beside her as the attribute of a goddess. The ivy branch in the background may be taken as a symbol of clinging memory.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
This hanging is a rare example of a collaboration between three members of the Morris family: William, who designed the honeysuckle pattern, and his wife Jane and daughter Jenny, who embroidered the fabric.
I Knew Jenny did some embroidery as therapy for her epileptic fits but never seen anything that survived before.
The embroidered tapestry shown in this article is a segment of one produced by May Morris in 1900 and was commissioned by the Battye family, hence the name and coat of arms. It is a much more conventionally themed medieval piece, but is not a mere copy of William Morris. The composition, style, and tone seem to have a slightly lighter touch than we are used to with Morris tapestry and embroidery work. May seems to have ordered her design work to concentrate on the overall decorative effect rather than that of the exacting details of nature that was so much part of her father's style. This is particularly noticeable when looking at the leaves and fruit in the forefront of the composition and the movement of the trees, which almost seem to be walking, rather than swaying. Although the piece is superficially medieval in tone, it has none of the gravity of the Arts & Crafts movement of the 1880s and 1890s, but instead pays more attention to the playfulness of much of the decorative work that was to appear later in the twentieth century.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
William Morris built his Red House in Bexleyheath, Kent, as a family home as well as a showcase for his ebullient decorations. It became an organic depiction of his philosophy of life, love and 'art for the people'. Fiona MacCarthy celebrates a radical Victorian
The Guardian, Saturday 26 July 2003
the 1861 census which lists for the Red House:
William Morris, aged 27 - Artist Painter, BA, born Walthamstow.
Jane Morris, aged 21, born Oxford.
Algernon Swinburne, aged 24 - Student, Oxford, born London.
Thomas Reynolds, aged 25 - Groom to head of family, born Woodford.
Jane Chapman, aged 27 - Housemaid, born Faversham.
Charlotte Cooper, aged 28 - Cook (Domestic), born Somerset.
Elizabeth Reynolds, aged 31 - Nurse (Private), born Leyton.
Jane Alice Morris, aged 3 months, born Bexley.
Morris' daughter, although Christened Jane Alice, was known as Jenny.
Whilst Morris enjoyed his house in Bexleyheath, `The Firm' was growing rapidly. The original members were Morris, Marshall and Faulkner, plus Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Webb. The workshops and offices were at 8 Red Lion Square and a circular describes the firm as `Fine Art Workmen in Painting, Carving and Furniture, and the metals'. Then, on 25 March 1862, a second daughter, May, was born and Morris became busier as more commissions were received, his first wallpaper being printed in 1864. Morris found the travelling from Upton to London expensive and a strain so plans were made to move the workshops to the Red House. However, finances dictated that it was not to be. Finally in November 1865, the Morris family moved to Queen Square. His dream of creating a medieval world was gone from him forever, he never again visited the Red House.
The Red House has been used as a residence ever since Morris left and still contains much of the original decoration. A few years ago a blue plaque was erected on the house to commemorate its association with William Morris.
The National Trust purchased the house in 2003, and pre-booked guided tours are available. Please contact the Red House booking line on: 020 8304 9878
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
A Memory Palace of her own
11 January to 9 March 2014
Open Wednesday - Sunday, 10am-5pm; free
Contemporary double of Jane Morris, Dutch artist Margje Bijl, shows a series of self-portraits, staged and photographed in William and Jane Morris's former homes. Referring back to Jane’s life story, Margje Bijl makes Jane’s environment her own.
An exhibition in the Discovery Lounge.
William Morris Gallery
Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Proserpine is hung in Sotheby's where it goes on sale in November. It's expected to raise £1.2-1.8 million. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/
The house in which the William Morris Gallery is based, called Water House, dates from the 1740s and has a chestnut staircase at the back of the hall. The house is now a museum but there are some fireplaces. The restoration is sympathetic and to their credit the museum hasn’t completely ignored the house: in each room there is a small plaque dedicated to the architecture of the room.
William Morris lived in the house from 1848-1856.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
in 1882 . (On 8th April 1882, Rossetti, then on
his deathbed, asked Hall Cane to make certain
that Jane ‘had anything of his that she cared for.’
10 Objects now at Kelmscott can be identified in
watercolours of Rossetti’s rooms at Cheyne Walk
painted by Henry Treffry Dunn in 1882. They
show, for example, the Chinese red lacquer chairs
now in the North Hall, a corner cupboard now in
the Panelled Room, mirrors similar to the convex
mirror on the stairs, and brass chargers similar to
those now in the Green Room).
Commissioned in 1914 by May Morris as a
memorial to her parents and built by Ernest
Gimson as an L-shaped semi-detached pair.
Stone, of rubble with ashlar dressings and
stone slates. The stack bears a commemorative
These Gimson cottages are most important
examples of the Arts and Crafts vernacular revival
of which Gimson was one of the most significant
Both sets of cottages together with the Morris
Memorial Hall represent the Morris family’s determination to
provide a permanent memorial to William Morris.
May’s editing of the first edition of her father’s
collected works and the eventual gift of the estate
and the Manor together with her establishment of
the William and Jane Morris fund for the repair
of churches under the aegis of the Society of
Antiquaries completed this task.
In the vicinity of the cottages are two small stone
barns (one used as a garage) and a converted