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.
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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! Here is just a small selection of quotes from the thank-you letters Helen received from the pupils of Year 6, Forty Hill Primary School, Enfield, who visited Kelmscott House in December 2008.

“I didn’t know that he used a presser to produce his work plus he used stamps to put words in his books (wow that must have took a long time).” Pervin

“William Morris is my favourite artist.” Sonny

Operating as usual

On this day in 1861 Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co was founded. A joint venture between William Morris, Edward Burne-Jo...
11/04/2021

On this day in 1861 Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co was founded. A joint venture between William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Philip Webb, Ford Maddox Brown, Charles Faulkner and Peter Paul Marshall, the company’s aim was to sell beautiful, handcrafted objects inspired by medieval designs.

All Saints Church in Cambridge provided one of the earliest commissions for stained glass received by the company. This design for stained glass from our collection by Edward Burne-Jones in 1866 features St Radegunda and was meant for the east window of the church. In later years, the company was reorganised with Morris as sole owner, becoming the Morris & Co we know today in 1875.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#EdwardBurneJones
#MorrisandCo
#Artsandcrafts
#Onthisday

We are delighted to announce the launch of our online exhibition “The Ideal Book”: William Morris and the Kelmscott Pres...
09/04/2021

We are delighted to announce the launch of our online exhibition “The Ideal Book”: William Morris and the Kelmscott Press. The exhibition is a key part the Society’s 2021 celebrations, marking 130 years since the founding of Morris’s Kelmscott Press and 125 years since the publication of the Kelmscott Chaucer!🎉

This exhibition explores Morris’s venture in book printing and showcases a number of rarely seen, objects from the Society’s Kelmscott Press collection. Visit the exhibition via the link below:

https://williammorrissociety.org/current-exhibitions/the-ideal-book-william-morris-and-the-kelmscott-press/

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KPChaucer125
#KelmscottPress

The next talk in our series of Kelmscott Press lectures is next Saturday 17 April at 3pm: ‘The Mirror of Everyday Life: ...
08/04/2021

The next talk in our series of Kelmscott Press lectures is next Saturday 17 April at 3pm: ‘The Mirror of Everyday Life: Morris's Book Collecting & the Kelmscott Press’.

Find out more and book here: http://ow.ly/h6q950Efujd

#onlinetalk
#zoomlecture
#KelmscottPress
#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KPChaucer125

Join our colleagues from The William Morris Society in the US for a talk and Q&A with Monica Bowen of Seattle University...
07/04/2021
The William Morris Society

Join our colleagues from The William Morris Society in the US for a talk and Q&A with Monica Bowen of Seattle University, on 'The Bittersweet Sensations of William Morris and Kehinde Wiley'. The talk will explore the use of Morris & Co. designs which feature as the backgrounds of portraits made by contemporary painter Kehinde Wiley.

Thursday April 29, 1.00am - 2.00am BST
Free to attend but registration in advance is required. Note the time!

A reminder! Don’t forget to register:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-bittersweet-sensations-of-william-morris-and-kehinde-wiley-tickets-148779213633

If you are looking for a fun activity to do as a family, there is still time to book on to one of our live children’s ac...
05/04/2021

If you are looking for a fun activity to do as a family, there is still time to book on to one of our live children’s activities and learn to make a lovely flower basket with your little ones.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-family-activity-spring-flower-baskets-tickets-145726765679

Or check out our website for a huge selection of fun family activities to keep you busy all holiday long!
https://williammorrissociety.org/create/

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Familyactivity
#Funforkids
#Museumfromhome

We wish all our followers a lovely Easter Sunday whatever you are doing!  We wanted to share this beautiful pencil and w...
04/04/2021

We wish all our followers a lovely Easter Sunday whatever you are doing! We wanted to share this beautiful pencil and watercolour design from our collection, which features an Easter lily plant forming a cross motif surrounded by roses. It is a design for an embroidery and likely to have been made for an ecclesiastical commission by Morris & Co after 1917.

#EasterSunday
#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Design
#Embroidery

On this day in 1851 William Morris’s good friend Emery Walker was born. Walker was an engraver, printer and photographer...
02/04/2021

On this day in 1851 William Morris’s good friend Emery Walker was born. Walker was an engraver, printer and photographer who befriended Morris in the late 1870s when they lived near to each other in Hammersmith, due to their shared interests in both printing and Socialism.

He went on to become the Branch Secretary for the Hammersmith Branch of the Socialist League, as seen on this account booklet from our collection. Organising the League’s Sunday lectures at the coach house of Kelmscott House.

Learn more about Walker’s work from our friends at The Emery Walker Trust.

#EmeryWalker
#WilliamMorris
#KelmscottHouse
#WilliamMorrisSociety

We are delighted to announce that we are running our first in person workshop in the Coach House at Kelmscott House in J...
01/04/2021
Workshop: Wood Engaving with Peter Lawrence

We are delighted to announce that we are running our first in person workshop in the Coach House at Kelmscott House in June, Covid restrictions allowing. Join us on 18 June to explore the art of wood engraving with Peter Lawrence. Learn about the history of wood engraving and how Morris made use of it for Kelmscott Press illustrations, then watch a demonstration from Peter before trying out the technique yourself.

Find out more and book the workshop here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/workshop-wood-engaving-with-peter-lawrence-tickets-144609818861?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

Image: Kelmscott Manor by Peter Lawrence

#williammorrissociety
#workshop
#woodengraving

Explore the art of wood engraving

29/03/2021

Are you having an egg hunt this Easter weekend? Why not use beautiful naturally dyed eggs for an eco-friendly egg hunt this year?

You can learn how to make naturally dyed red, blue and yellow eggs in our new family activity, inspired by William Morris’s use of natural dyes in many of his designs.

Watch the video and find the full detailed instructions linked here:https://williammorrissociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/WMS-Spring-Naturally-Dyed-Eggs-Activity-Sheet.pdf

For even more family fun this Easter holiday, why not book onto our online children’s workshop via Zoom, where we are making paper folded flower baskets on 7th or 14th April. Find out more here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-family-activity-spring-flower-baskets-tickets-145726765679

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#NaturalDyes
#Familyactivity
#Funforkids
#Easter
#EggHunt
#Museumfromhome

Royalty Free Music from Bensound

Are you looking for a fun activity to do as a family this Easter break? We are running two online family workshops via z...
26/03/2021

Are you looking for a fun activity to do as a family this Easter break? We are running two online family workshops via zoom at 2pm on Wednesday 7th and Wednesday 14th April. Join us with your children to learn how to make paper folded spring flower baskets!

Find out more about the activity and how to book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-family-activity-spring-flower-baskets-tickets-145726765679?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

#familyactivity
#williammorrissociety
#museumfromhome
#childrensworkshop
#easterfun

May Morris was born on this day in 1862 in Bexley Heath, the youngest daughter of Jane and William Morris. She was a tal...
25/03/2021

May Morris was born on this day in 1862 in Bexley Heath, the youngest daughter of Jane and William Morris. She was a talented artist, designer, embroiderer, jeweller, and co-founder of the Women’s Guild of Arts in 1907. May wrote in 1936 to George Bernard Shaw - “I’m a remarkable woman, always was, though none of you seemed to think so”. Her lasting legacy and influence on the Arts and Crafts movement demonstrates she was a remarkable woman indeed.

We are lucky to hold many pieces by May in our collection, including this pencil and watercolour illustration for an altar frontal embroidery designed between 1890 and 1895. May was made head of Morris & Co’s embroidery department at just 23.

This picture of May Morris from our collection was taken by photographer Frederick Hollyer, date unknown.

#MayMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Artsandcrafts
#Embroidery
#Wallpaper

William Morris was born on this day in 1834 in Walthamstow, London, the third of nine children to affluent parents, Emma...
24/03/2021

William Morris was born on this day in 1834 in Walthamstow, London, the third of nine children to affluent parents, Emma Morris, and William Morris Snr. Morris was a revolutionary force in Victorian Britain and his work as a designer, craftsman, writer and socialist dramatically changed the fashions and ideologies of the era. He became one of the most significant figures in the arts and crafts movement.

This sepia portrait photograph, from our collection and printed from half plate glass, was taken of William Morris at age 55 in 1889 by his good friend Emery Walker.

#OnThisDay
#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety

We are joining our friends at The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings for their virtual tea party to celebra...
23/03/2021

We are joining our friends at The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings for their virtual tea party to celebrate the 187th birthday of William Morris on 24 March. To join in all you need to do is tag @spab1877 in your photos with your tea and cake at 3.30pm tomorrow! You can also read a celebratory blog post on their website by WMS Curator, Helen Elletson, called ‘William Morris and his ‘magical’ home’.

Read it here: https://www.spab.org.uk/news/william-morris-and-his-%E2%80%98magical%E2%80%99-home

#Teaparty
#Invitation
#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety

We are delighted to be running an online hand embroidery course with the talented Becky Hogg.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Join Becky to lear...
22/03/2021
Metal thread embroidery course with Becky Hogg: Strawberry

We are delighted to be running an online hand embroidery course with the talented Becky Hogg.
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Join Becky to learn how to make this beautiful Strawberry brooch inspired by William Morris’s ‘Strawberry Thief’ design and discover metal thread techniques including Couching and Cutwork loops.
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The course runs over two weeks on 4 and 11 June, but to allow time for the kit to be posted bookings will close on Friday 30 April 2021.
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Find out more about the workshop and how to book your ticket and buy your kit here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/metal-thread-embroidery-course-with-becky-hogg-strawberry-tickets-144494345477?aff=ebdsoporgprofile
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#Strawberrythief
#Embroidery
#ZoomWorkshop
#OnlineWorkshop

Learn how to make a stunning embroidered strawberry using metal threads

It is Census day today! Have you completed yours yet? We’ve had a look at the 1881 Census to see who was listed at the S...
21/03/2021

It is Census day today! Have you completed yours yet? We’ve had a look at the 1881 Census to see who was listed at the Society’s headquarters, Kelmscott House. The list reads: William Morris, 47, Jane A. Morris 20 (William and Jane’s eldest daughter Jenny), Mary Morris 19 (their second daughter May), Elizabeth Burden 39 (Jane’s sister Bessie), Annie Morse 38, Eliza R. Rebecca 25 and Elizabeth Ballad 29. Not much is known about these three women, but they were presumably housemaids.

How interesting to think what future historians will be reading the 2021 Census!

#census2021
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KelmscottHouse

Today marks the first day of Spring, at last! We are so happy for longer days and hopefully some warmer weather. To mark...
20/03/2021

Today marks the first day of Spring, at last! We are so happy for longer days and hopefully some warmer weather. To mark the occasion, we are sharing this wallpaper called ‘Spring Thicket’ in green and brown on blue. ‘Spring Thicket’ was designed by John Henry Dearle for Morris & Co in 1893. It features a symmetrical net repeat with large tulips on a background of foliage.

#Firstdayofspring
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#JohnHenryDearle
#Morrisandco
#WallpaperDesign

Did you know that both William Morris and his daughter May designed patterns called ‘Honeysuckle’? William designed his ...
19/03/2021

Did you know that both William Morris and his daughter May designed patterns called ‘Honeysuckle’? William designed his ‘Honeysuckle’ in 1876, and May described it as ‘the most truly Morrisian in character of all his pattern-making… the most mysterious and poetic – the very symbol of a garden tangle’.

The other Honeysuckle was designed by May in 1883, and we are lucky to have the original watercolour design from 1881 in our collection, featured here.

In this month’s Coffee with a Curator, we looked at the traditional techniques involved in creating these two beautiful designs, as well as exploring Honeysuckle in a wider context of other Morris & Co products. Check out the video of the talk on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0-WpRFmWh0

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#MayMorris
#Wallpaper
#CoffeewithaCurator
#Design

We’d like to highlight a fascinating upcoming talk from our friends at The Victorian Society called: ‘William Morris & G...
18/03/2021
William Morris & G.F. Bodley: a creative relationship with an abrupt end

We’d like to highlight a fascinating upcoming talk from our friends at The Victorian Society called: ‘William Morris & G.F. Bodley: a creative relationship with an abrupt end’. This online talk will be exploring William Morris’s friendship with Bodley, a leading Gothic revival architect next Tuesday 23 March at 7pm.

Find out more here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/william-morris-gf-bodley-a-creative-relationship-with-an-abrupt-end-tickets-135523278775

Burlington Magazine editor Michael Hall explores Morris's friendship with a leading Gothic revival architect.

In honour of St Patrick’s Day today, we are sharing a lovely wallpaper from our collection called ‘Clover’. ‘Clover’ was...
17/03/2021

In honour of St Patrick’s Day today, we are sharing a lovely wallpaper from our collection called ‘Clover’. ‘Clover’ was designed for Morris & Co by John Henry Dearle in 1903 featuring scrolling foliage. This sample from our collection is in a red, white, blue, green and brown colourway.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#JohnHenryDearle
#StPatricksDay
#Wallpaper
#Design

Today, on this Mothering Sunday, we wanted to share a quote from the poem ‘Mother and Son’, by William Morris. This is f...
14/03/2021

Today, on this Mothering Sunday, we wanted to share a quote from the poem ‘Mother and Son’, by William Morris. This is from ‘Poems by the Way’, published in 1891.

So mayst thou dimly remember this tale of thy mother's voice,
As oft in the calm of dawning I have heard the birds rejoice,
As oft I have heard the storm-wind go moaning through the wood,
And I knew that earth was speaking, and the mother's voice was good.

This image depicts part of the quote over ‘Carnation’ wallpaper from our collection. ‘Carnation’ was designed by Kate Faulkner for Morris & Co in 1880. It features entwined stems of carnation flowers and foliage in shades of green.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#Poetry
#MotheringSunday
#HappyMothersDay

Our collection object of the month for March is this beautiful border designed by William Morris for use by the Kelmscot...
11/03/2021

Our collection object of the month for March is this beautiful border designed by William Morris for use by the Kelmscott Press. This image is the illustration of the design in pencil, Chinese ink and white on paper. It was created in 1896 during Morris’s last illness before his death, and the design was engraved but never used in print.

#ObjectoftheMonth
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#KelmscottPress
#KPChaucer125

Today is International Women’s Day, and we are taking this opportunity to highlight two beautiful pencil drawings on pap...
08/03/2021

Today is International Women’s Day, and we are taking this opportunity to highlight two beautiful pencil drawings on paper by artist Mary Annie Sloane. The first is of a brick tower on Leicester High Street and the second features old cottages on Broad Street. Mary was an artist, friend of May Morris and Honorary Secretary of the Women’s Guild of Arts.

The Women’s Guild of Arts Collection which we hold in our archives, was generously presented to us by the great nephew of Mary Annie Sloane. Although, she exhibited at the Royal Academy, few of her works are published, so we are happy to be able to share with you two of her pieces we have in our collection.

#MarySloane
#artist
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#IWD2021

What was William Morris's role in the Arts and Crafts movement? How are his designs being interpreted for today's consum...
06/03/2021

What was William Morris's role in the Arts and Crafts movement? How are his designs being interpreted for today's consumers? And who was 'the other William'?

You can find out the answers to these questions in the latest issue of The William Morris Society Magazine, out now! Members receive the Magazine three times a year, and the Journal of William Morris Studies twice a year.

Find out more about how to become a member here: https://williammorrissociety.org/membership/?mc_cid=b2214ff579&mc_eid=aa84e1f755

Are you looking for something special to send this Mother’s Day? We have a beautiful selection of gifts in our shop, inc...
04/03/2021

Are you looking for something special to send this Mother’s Day? We have a beautiful selection of gifts in our shop, including some stunning square silk scarves, like this one featuring Morris’s Flowerpot design or handmade lavender pillows, like the one pictured in Morris & Co Mary Isobel embroidered silk fabric.

See the full selection of gifts in our shop here: https://www.williammorrissocietyshop.com/

#WilliamMorrisSocietyShop
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#MothersDay
#HappyMothersDay

Call for Papers: The Kelmscott Press and Its Legacies, a one-day symposium hosted by The William Morris Society, 6 Novem...
26/02/2021

Call for Papers: The Kelmscott Press and Its Legacies, a one-day symposium hosted by The William Morris Society, 6 November 2021. The Society invites proposals for twenty-minute papers that address any aspect of the Press’s activities, its history or its legacies.

For further information and how to submit proposals see the full details here:https://williammorrissociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-Kelmscott-Press-and-Its-Legacies-CfP-1.pdf

Image depicts an item from our collection: a paper proof from wood blocks for the Kelmscott Press, dated May 1896.

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KPChaucer125
#KelmscottPress

'A thing of beauty is a joy forever': a sentiment that William Morris very much endorsed.Today marks the 200th anniversa...
23/02/2021

'A thing of beauty is a joy forever': a sentiment that William Morris very much endorsed.

Today marks the 200th anniversary of John Keats' death in Rome. Morris's Kelmscott Press published this beautiful edition of Keats' poems, printed on vellum and flower paper, in 1894.

This year also marks the 130th anniversary of the founding of the Kelmscott Press, and the 125th anniversary of the printing of its most celebrated work, the Kelmscott Chaucer. We have an exciting programme of talks, workshops and other activities planned throughout 2021. Find out more on our website: https://williammorrissociety.org/125-years-of-the-kelmscott-chaucer-william-morris-and-the-kelmscott-press/

We are delighted to announce the launch event for our Kelmscott Press Programme, ‘The Kelmscott Press Books in a Ninetee...
22/02/2021

We are delighted to announce the launch event for our Kelmscott Press Programme, ‘The Kelmscott Press Books in a Nineteenth Century Context’. Join us on Saturday 20 March at 3pm for an online talk by William Peterson, one of the greatest authorities on the Kelmscott Press. The event will also include a virtual tour of our Kelmscott Press collection and a demonstration of Morris’s original Albion Press.

Find out more about this exciting event and book your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-talk-the-kelmscott-press-books-in-a-nineteenth-century-context-tickets-139490474765?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

Image features ‘Here Bygynnes the Romance of Syr Perecyvelle of Gales’ by Frederick Ellis, printed by the Kelmscott Press in 1895.

#KPChaucer125
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KelmscottPress
#Printing

Address

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

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

General information

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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Thursday 14:00 - 17:00
Saturday 14:00 - 17:00

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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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Comments

Ground-breaking scholarship and lots of beautiful pictures!
Morris aficionados may like to know that Forum Auctions have a copy of the Kelmscott Press edition of The History of Godfrey of Boloyne - presented to Rugby School Library by Mrs Morris. Auction Wed 18th November 1pm. Estimate £1,500 - £2,000
I wondered if William Morris Society members would be interested in my new historical novel dedicated to the complex personal relationships of John Ruskin? Here is the latest review: "I would recommend this to any fans of the Victorian era and anyone who enjoys reading about interesting characters from the past...a gloriously lavish, engaging and immersive book." Click to read the full review...
Had an idea. Why don't those who like to sew make face masks using Morris fabric and they can be sold on line, perhaps here, and proceeds go to the Society.
KELMSCOTT MANOR : A short film. with William Morris prose.
Why is there William Morris Way in Wandsworth, London SW6? Did he live there? Work there? Thanks
My visit to The Red House!
https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Lorna-Moores-Creative-Art-Course-210325729432769/ FREE ART CLASS TASTER SESSIONS UNTIL MID APRIL...message me for details.
I can't believe I've only just found this site....absolutely fantastic ...thank you
Hi lucky to have these as window hangings or curtains if you prefer thanks and all the best
Anybody know the William Morris fable referred to in this 1906 Socialist editorial? It doesn't ring any bells for me: