The William Morris Society

The William Morris Society "I do not want art for a few, anymore than education for a few, or freedom for a few." William Morris 1879. The William Morris Society is a charitable organisation whose aim is to promote the life and work of designer, writer and socialist William Morris, one of the most outstanding figures of the nineteenth century whose influence and ideas remain as important today as they were in his own lifetime.

Membership to the Society includes a number of benefits such as a quarterly newsletter, the Journal of William Morris Studies and a range of talks and events relating to Morris's life and works. We also run a small museum at our premises in Hammersmith, London, in the basement and Coach House of Morris's last home. THE MUSEUM (FREE ENTRY)

Kelmscott House dates from the 1780s and Morris lived here

Membership to the Society includes a number of benefits such as a quarterly newsletter, the Journal of William Morris Studies and a range of talks and events relating to Morris's life and works. We also run a small museum at our premises in Hammersmith, London, in the basement and Coach House of Morris's last home. THE MUSEUM (FREE ENTRY)

Kelmscott House dates from the 1780s and Morris lived here

Operating as usual

Here we have a beautiful brooch designed by May Morris  A flower shaped golden brooch with a water opal in the centre, f...
14/09/2021

Here we have a beautiful brooch designed by May Morris

A flower shaped golden brooch with a water opal in the centre, four emeralds and almandine garnets.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#MayMorris
#ArtsandCrafts
#Gems
#Jewellery

Here we have a beautiful brooch designed by May Morris

A flower shaped golden brooch with a water opal in the centre, four emeralds and almandine garnets.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#MayMorris
#ArtsandCrafts
#Gems
#Jewellery

Please enjoy this wallpaper print 'Blackberry' by John Henry Dearle. Have you gone blackberry picking this year?
12/09/2021

Please enjoy this wallpaper print 'Blackberry' by John Henry Dearle. Have you gone blackberry picking this year?

Please enjoy this wallpaper print 'Blackberry' by John Henry Dearle. Have you gone blackberry picking this year?

September’s object of the week is this ceramic with an eagle design by artist William De Morgan. The letter’s ‘F.P' on t...
10/09/2021

September’s object of the week is this ceramic with an eagle design by artist William De Morgan. The letter’s ‘F.P' on the base could indicate it is from the Early Fulham period. Could it relate to decorator 'Fred Passenger'?

September’s object of the week is this ceramic with an eagle design by artist William De Morgan. The letter’s ‘F.P' on the base could indicate it is from the Early Fulham period. Could it relate to decorator 'Fred Passenger'?

To celebrate a return to blue skies this week, here is the beautiful blue woven textile ‘Lea’ by William Morris. 'Lea' w...
08/09/2021

To celebrate a return to blue skies this week, here is the beautiful blue woven textile ‘Lea’ by William Morris. 'Lea' was registered on 2 February 1885.

To celebrate a return to blue skies this week, here is the beautiful blue woven textile ‘Lea’ by William Morris. 'Lea' was registered on 2 February 1885.

This example of William Morris's design 'Evenlode' from the Society's collection was printed on cotton using the indigo ...
02/09/2021

This example of William Morris's design 'Evenlode' from the Society's collection was printed on cotton using the indigo discharge method, with the background overprinted in green. The design was registered on this day in 1883. It was one of the first of several designs which Morris named after tributaries of the Thames.

This example of William Morris's design 'Evenlode' from the Society's collection was printed on cotton using the indigo discharge method, with the background overprinted in green. The design was registered on this day in 1883. It was one of the first of several designs which Morris named after tributaries of the Thames.

We are delighted to announce that booking is now open for the Symposium "The Kelmscott Press and its Legacies", which wi...
01/09/2021

We are delighted to announce that booking is now open for the Symposium "The Kelmscott Press and its Legacies", which will be held at St Bride Foundation on Saturday 6 November.

The Kelmscott Press was Morris’s last great artistic undertaking. With the support and expertise of his friend and collaborator Emery Walker, Morris established a book printing operation near his home on the River Thames in Hammersmith. Morris’s respect for traditional craftsmanship, his search for perfection in design and his love of literature all came together in the works of the Kelmscott Press. The Press’s most ambitious endeavour was the Kelmscott Chaucer. Described by Edward Burne Jones as ‘like a pocket cathedral’, and published just months before Morris’s death, it embodies Morris’s highest design ideals.

Throughout 2021 The William Morris Society has been celebrating 125 years since the publication of the Kelmscott Chaucer, the crowning glory of Morris’s book printing venture, the Kelmscott Press. This one day Symposium will examine a wide range of aspects of the Press’s activities, history and legacies. Keynote talks by Dr Marcus Waithe and Yoshiko Yamamoto will be complemented by three panel sessions each comprising of three shorter papers followed by discussion. Tea/coffee and lunch will be provided. The event will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in person.

Keynote speakers: Dr Marcus Waithe (University of Cambridge), ‘Pocket Cathedrals: Craftsmanship, Architecture, and the Kelmscott Press’; Yoshiko Yamamoto (Arts & Crafts Press, Tacoma)

Book to attend in-person here: http://ow.ly/PQh650G25KP

Book to attend online here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-symposium-the-kelmscott-press-and-its-legacies-tickets-167316116007

@stbridefoundation
#KelmscottPress
#WilliamMorris
#Printing
#BookHistory

We are delighted to announce that booking is now open for the Symposium "The Kelmscott Press and its Legacies", which will be held at St Bride Foundation on Saturday 6 November.

The Kelmscott Press was Morris’s last great artistic undertaking. With the support and expertise of his friend and collaborator Emery Walker, Morris established a book printing operation near his home on the River Thames in Hammersmith. Morris’s respect for traditional craftsmanship, his search for perfection in design and his love of literature all came together in the works of the Kelmscott Press. The Press’s most ambitious endeavour was the Kelmscott Chaucer. Described by Edward Burne Jones as ‘like a pocket cathedral’, and published just months before Morris’s death, it embodies Morris’s highest design ideals.

Throughout 2021 The William Morris Society has been celebrating 125 years since the publication of the Kelmscott Chaucer, the crowning glory of Morris’s book printing venture, the Kelmscott Press. This one day Symposium will examine a wide range of aspects of the Press’s activities, history and legacies. Keynote talks by Dr Marcus Waithe and Yoshiko Yamamoto will be complemented by three panel sessions each comprising of three shorter papers followed by discussion. Tea/coffee and lunch will be provided. The event will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in person.

Keynote speakers: Dr Marcus Waithe (University of Cambridge), ‘Pocket Cathedrals: Craftsmanship, Architecture, and the Kelmscott Press’; Yoshiko Yamamoto (Arts & Crafts Press, Tacoma)

Book to attend in-person here: http://ow.ly/PQh650G25KP

Book to attend online here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-symposium-the-kelmscott-press-and-its-legacies-tickets-167316116007

@stbridefoundation
#KelmscottPress
#WilliamMorris
#Printing
#BookHistory

Whilst in Iceland, William Morris met many notable people, one of whom was the President of the Althing, Jón Sigurðsson....
28/08/2021

Whilst in Iceland, William Morris met many notable people, one of whom was the President of the Althing, Jón Sigurðsson. Morris described him as ‘a shy, kind, scholarlike man, and I talked Icelandic all I might to him’. Morris was sympathetic to the Icelandic Independence movement and when he returned to Britain in September, he had a new radical awareness. His visit serving to further influence his Socialist viewpoint, writing that ‘the most grinding poverty is a trifling evil compared with the inequality of classes’. This caricature of Morris is another by his good friend Edward Burne-Jones of him cooking in Iceland.

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Iceland
#EdwardBurneJones

Whilst in Iceland, William Morris met many notable people, one of whom was the President of the Althing, Jón Sigurðsson. Morris described him as ‘a shy, kind, scholarlike man, and I talked Icelandic all I might to him’. Morris was sympathetic to the Icelandic Independence movement and when he returned to Britain in September, he had a new radical awareness. His visit serving to further influence his Socialist viewpoint, writing that ‘the most grinding poverty is a trifling evil compared with the inequality of classes’. This caricature of Morris is another by his good friend Edward Burne-Jones of him cooking in Iceland.

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Iceland
#EdwardBurneJones

We are delighted to share with you our new online exhibition from the William Morris Society Young Volunteers.Over sever...
26/08/2021

We are delighted to share with you our new online exhibition from the William Morris Society Young Volunteers.

Over several sessions between May and July of 2021, they came together to work on a project inspired by William Morris’s work as an early environmentalist. They took part in various workshops, learning about William Morris’s odes to nature through his writing and designs, discovering ways to advocate for the climate crisis, and thinking about using verse, digital resources and found materials to create pieces which address the environmental crisis.

This online exhibition is a glimpse of the work they undertook and at the end you can explore the culmination of the project, a zine called “The earth and the growth of it and the life of it!”, named after a quote from William Morris’s ‘News from Nowhere’.

Visit it now here: https://williammorrissociety.org/current-exhibitions/young-volunteer-project-exhibition/

#Williammorissociety
#youngvolunteers
#Climatecrisis
#Climatechange
#Zine

We are delighted to share with you our new online exhibition from the William Morris Society Young Volunteers.

Over several sessions between May and July of 2021, they came together to work on a project inspired by William Morris’s work as an early environmentalist. They took part in various workshops, learning about William Morris’s odes to nature through his writing and designs, discovering ways to advocate for the climate crisis, and thinking about using verse, digital resources and found materials to create pieces which address the environmental crisis.

This online exhibition is a glimpse of the work they undertook and at the end you can explore the culmination of the project, a zine called “The earth and the growth of it and the life of it!”, named after a quote from William Morris’s ‘News from Nowhere’.

Visit it now here: https://williammorrissociety.org/current-exhibitions/young-volunteer-project-exhibition/

#Williammorissociety
#youngvolunteers
#Climatecrisis
#Climatechange
#Zine

Watch our latest 'Coffee with a Curator' talk on YouTube and discover the history behind the William Morris Society’s on...
25/08/2021

Watch our latest 'Coffee with a Curator' talk on YouTube and discover the history behind the William Morris Society’s only example of stained glass and one of the earliest created by Philip Webb and William Morris. With delightful portrayals of domestic birds alternating with floral motifs, this hand-painted glass was a major feature within Sandroyd, Webb’s second architectural commission after Red House. Learn about the history of this charming stained glass in the context of the Webb-designed property, whilst discovering how the Society became involved in rescuing these early arts and crafts treasures. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Watch our latest 'Coffee with a Curator' talk on YouTube and discover the history behind the William Morris Society’s only example of stained glass and one of the earliest created by Philip Webb and William Morris. With delightful portrayals of domestic birds alternating with floral motifs, this hand-painted glass was a major feature within Sandroyd, Webb’s second architectural commission after Red House. Learn about the history of this charming stained glass in the context of the Webb-designed property, whilst discovering how the Society became involved in rescuing these early arts and crafts treasures. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

We hope you are enjoying the last few days of the summer holidays! Did you know that a colophon is a publishers emblem, ...
25/08/2021

We hope you are enjoying the last few days of the summer holidays! Did you know that a colophon is a publishers emblem, usually found at the front of a book? William Morris designed one for the Kelmscott Press. In our last holiday activity, you can use this beautiful design to create your very own tag to use wherever you want! Find this family activity, and many others, on the 'Learning' page of our website.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Kelmscott Press
#Familyactivities
#Museumfromhome
#SummerHolidays

We hope you are enjoying the last few days of the summer holidays! Did you know that a colophon is a publishers emblem, usually found at the front of a book? William Morris designed one for the Kelmscott Press. In our last holiday activity, you can use this beautiful design to create your very own tag to use wherever you want! Find this family activity, and many others, on the 'Learning' page of our website.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Kelmscott Press
#Familyactivities
#Museumfromhome
#SummerHolidays

Have you got a ticket for August’s Coffee with a Curator? Join Helen on Tuesday 17 August at 11am to explore the history...
14/08/2021

Have you got a ticket for August’s Coffee with a Curator? Join Helen on Tuesday 17 August at 11am to explore the history behind the William Morris Society’s only example of stained glass and one of the earliest created by Philip Webb and William Morris. With delightful portrayals of domestic birds alternating with floral motifs, this hand-painted glass was a major feature within Sandroyd, Webb’s second architectural commission after Red House. We will uncover the history of this charming stained glass in context of the Webb-designed property, whilst discovering how the Society became involved in rescuing these early arts and crafts treasures.

Book now: https://william-morris-society.arttickets.org.uk/kelmscott-house-sandbox/2021-08-17-coffee-with-a-curator-the-sad-story-of-the-sandroyd-stained-glass

#coffeewithacurator
#williammorrissociety
#philipwebb
#stainedglass
#onlinetalk

Have you got a ticket for August’s Coffee with a Curator? Join Helen on Tuesday 17 August at 11am to explore the history behind the William Morris Society’s only example of stained glass and one of the earliest created by Philip Webb and William Morris. With delightful portrayals of domestic birds alternating with floral motifs, this hand-painted glass was a major feature within Sandroyd, Webb’s second architectural commission after Red House. We will uncover the history of this charming stained glass in context of the Webb-designed property, whilst discovering how the Society became involved in rescuing these early arts and crafts treasures.

Book now: https://william-morris-society.arttickets.org.uk/kelmscott-house-sandbox/2021-08-17-coffee-with-a-curator-the-sad-story-of-the-sandroyd-stained-glass

#coffeewithacurator
#williammorrissociety
#philipwebb
#stainedglass
#onlinetalk

A couple of weeks ago we featured a caricature of William Morris by his good friend Edward Burne-Jones depicting him in ...
13/08/2021

A couple of weeks ago we featured a caricature of William Morris by his good friend Edward Burne-Jones depicting him in Iceland. Burne-Jones is reported to have announced on Morris’s return from Iceland, ‘Mr. Morris has come back more enslaved with passion for ice and snow and raw fish than ever – I fear I shall never drag him to Italy again’. Morris was so inspired by his trip to Iceland, it led to his production of a series of English-language translations of Icelandic sagas. One of the things that he loved was the late evening light, saying that it was ‘light enough to see to read; wonderfully clear, but not like daylight, for there were no shadows at all.’

His passion is clear in his poem ‘Iceland First Seen’:
“Lo from our loitering ship a new land at last to be seen;
Toothed rocks down the side of the firth on the east guard a weary wide lea,
And black slope the hillsides above, striped adown with their desolate green:
And a peak rises up on the west from the meeting of cloud and of sea,
Foursquare from base unto point like the building of Gods that have been,
The last of that waste of the mountains all cloud-wreathed and snow-flecked and grey,
And bright with the dawn that began just now at the ending of day.”
-William Morris

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Iceland
#EdwardBurneJones

A couple of weeks ago we featured a caricature of William Morris by his good friend Edward Burne-Jones depicting him in Iceland. Burne-Jones is reported to have announced on Morris’s return from Iceland, ‘Mr. Morris has come back more enslaved with passion for ice and snow and raw fish than ever – I fear I shall never drag him to Italy again’. Morris was so inspired by his trip to Iceland, it led to his production of a series of English-language translations of Icelandic sagas. One of the things that he loved was the late evening light, saying that it was ‘light enough to see to read; wonderfully clear, but not like daylight, for there were no shadows at all.’

His passion is clear in his poem ‘Iceland First Seen’:
“Lo from our loitering ship a new land at last to be seen;
Toothed rocks down the side of the firth on the east guard a weary wide lea,
And black slope the hillsides above, striped adown with their desolate green:
And a peak rises up on the west from the meeting of cloud and of sea,
Foursquare from base unto point like the building of Gods that have been,
The last of that waste of the mountains all cloud-wreathed and snow-flecked and grey,
And bright with the dawn that began just now at the ending of day.”
-William Morris

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Iceland
#EdwardBurneJones

We hope you are all having an excellent Summer Holidays so far. If you are looking for more fun things to do as a family...
08/08/2021

We hope you are all having an excellent Summer Holidays so far. If you are looking for more fun things to do as a family, we have put together some free and easy activities inspired by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. His mission was to make the most beautiful books imaginable, so we challenge you and your little ones to make your very own book using our paper folded book activity sheet. Once it is made it can be filled with stories and illustrations, just like William Morris! Check out the activities here: https://williammorrissociety.org/create/

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KelmscottPress
#Familyactivities
#Museumfromhome
#SummerHolidays

We hope you are all having an excellent Summer Holidays so far. If you are looking for more fun things to do as a family, we have put together some free and easy activities inspired by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. His mission was to make the most beautiful books imaginable, so we challenge you and your little ones to make your very own book using our paper folded book activity sheet. Once it is made it can be filled with stories and illustrations, just like William Morris! Check out the activities here: https://williammorrissociety.org/create/

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KelmscottPress
#Familyactivities
#Museumfromhome
#SummerHolidays

Address

Kelmscott House - Coach House 26 Upper Mall
London
W6 9TA

Hammersmith and Ravenscourt Park Tube Bus Routes: 27, H91, 190, 266, 267, 391

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Please email us to: Enquire about Society membership Book guided tours See the collection by appointment Library enquiries Buy tickets for events and products from our shop Book school visits

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Our Story

The William Morris Society is a charitable organisation whose aim is to promote the life and work of designer, writer and socialist William Morris, one of the most outstanding figures of the nineteenth century whose influence and ideas remain as important today as they were in his own lifetime. Membership to the Society includes a number of benefits such as a quarterly newsletter, the Journal of William Morris Studies and a range of talks and events relating to Morris's life and works. We also run a small museum at our premises in Hammersmith, London, in the basement and Coach House of Morris's last home. THE MUSEUM (FREE ENTRY) Kelmscott House dates from the 1780s and Morris lived here from 1878 until his death in 1896. The Coach House, Library and Basement rooms are open to the public on Thursday and Saturday afternoons from 2-5pm. There are frequent demonstrations on Morris's printing press, and a well stocked shop. MORRIS AT KELMSCOTT HOUSE Soon after moving into Kelmscott House, Morris began experiments with weaving. He set up a tapestry loom in his ground floor bedroom and carpet looms in the Coach House. The latter were moved to his new works at Merton Abbey in 1881. The small rugs and carpets made here are known as Hammersmith rugs and bear the woven device of a hammer in the border. During the 1870s Morris had become increasingly active in politics. In 1883 he joined the Socialist Democratic Federation and established a branch which met in the Coach House. When he left the Federation in 1885 to form the Socialist League the meetings continued with many distinguished speakers such as Lucy Parsons, Peter Kropotkin and Annie Besant. This tradition continues today with speakers most weekends including Tony Benn. In his last years Morris embarked upon printing by establishing the Kelmscott Press in nearby properties. The Chaucer, the press's greatest book, was completed shortly before he died and one of the proofing presses used in its printing is now on permanent display. THE COLLECTION We hold the archive of the Kelmscott Fellowship and the Women’s Guild of Arts. Founded in 1918 by May Morris, Emery Walker and AH Verstage, the Kelmscott Fellowship was the forerunner of the William Morris Society, and they merged in 1966. With May Morris at its first President, the Fellowship aimed to keep Morris legacy alive through a series of events and exhibitions, and through an active membership which included Walter Crane, Georgiana Burne-Jones and Emery Walker. The Women’s Guild of Arts was established in 1904 as a reaction to the lack of professional art organisations willing to admit women. May Morris was responsible for organising the may lectures and events that appealed to a wide range of craftswomen. The archive includes minutes of meetings, accounts and membership lists. The collection contains a number of Kelmscott Press titles and working proofs as well as the only printing press used by Morris left in the country. Dating from c1835 it is fully operational and used on a regular basis by our artist in residence. The Society has a comprehensive collection of Morris and Company wallpapers, watercolour designs, and a selection of textiles, ranging from a Hammersmith rug and woven hangings to printed cottons, silks and embroideries. EDUCATION As a writer, designer, printer, passionate socialist and pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement William Morris remains an influential and inspirational figure. The Society offers many ways to learn about and enjoy the work of this eminent Victorian. Learning Outside the Classroom Visits from schools and local children are vital in strengthening the Society’s links to the community. Over the past 10 years, curator Helen Elletson has been working hard to expand our programme of educational activities. We particularly welcome pupils from Years 5 and 6 who are studying the Victorian period. You can choose between programmes on art, literacy and history and we tailor the learning to suit your needs. Learn about the Arts and Crafts Movement with an up-close look at fascinating artefacts including original textile designs, wallpaper samples, furniture, embroidery and Pre-Raphaelite drawings. Ten and eleven-year-olds can have a go at textile designing, weaving and painting on acetate to create their own “stained glass”. The success of these visits shows that traditional crafts that take their inspiration from Nature can still have a role in the lives of today’s gadget-obsessed kids. Citizenship Programme for Key Stage 2 and 3 Kelmscott House is now offering an innovative Citizenship programme with cross-curricular links to English and History for Key Stage 2 and 3. Teachers, go to the citizenship page to read more about the programme, how you can book your class to take part at the museum, or download the resources to carry out the workshops offsite. http://www.williammorrissociety.org.uk/citizenship.shtml ALSO Keep an eye out for FREE half-term and summer break drop in workshops!

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Ground-breaking scholarship and lots of beautiful pictures!