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William Morris, St. George cabinet 1861-1862 - designed by his friend Philip Webb and painted by Morris himself and his friend, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones

William Morris, St. George cabinet 1861-1862 - designed by his friend Philip Webb and painted by Morris himself
and his friends, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones for Red House, Morris's first married home

William Morris and the Decorative Arts

Introduction

Before Roycroft and Stickley... Before the term "mission-style" increased the price of anything with slats, there was the English Arts and Crafts movement, there was William Morris, and with him the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

William Morris patterns have been popular since the end of the 19th century and have never lost their appeal. With Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Arthur Hughes, his lifelong friend, Edward Burne-Jones, and the other Pre-Raphaelites, he changed the direction of English art, architecture, and design -- and began a return to values of craftsmanship and quality materials that continue to enjoy a renaissance in these areas. I write more about this in my article, On William Morris: The Soul of Arts and Crafts. I also love Terri Windling's article on the Pre-Raphaelites and Writers of Fantasy and recommend it to you highly.

Tile

Red House

The first William Morris Tiles were created for Red House, Morris's first married home. He handpainted the porch tiles himself for Red House:

The tiles in the image are faded. Although each tile was painted individually, and hence there is some vriation, they probably looked more like:

Si Je Puis tile, William MorrisTudor Rose tile, William Morris


Other tiles from Red House were blue and white farm birds, and were represented in yellow and black in stained glass in the upstairs corridor. These birds, designed by architect Philip Webb, were also painted by hand. Later Morris & Co. tile offerings included an expanded set of bird tiles by Philip Webb.

Red house tile: Cock by William MorrisRed house tile: Duck by William MorrisRed house tile: Goose by William Morris

Red House was designed for Morris by his friend, architect Philip Webb. Its location was along the path that the pilgrims would have walked in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Morris professed that Chaucer was his chief master in poetry, and much of Morris's poetry (particularly, The Earthly Paradise follows Chaucerian meter and other subtle patterns. Morris created Red House as a Chaucerian home, with medieval tapestries and themes throughout.

Morris & Co. Tiles

Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company ('the Firm') was created over an amiable dinner at the Morris home, Red House. Founding members included William Morris himself, Edward Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Ford Maddox Brown, Philip Webb, and Charles Faulkner. Marshall, a friend of Ford Maddox Brown, took little part in the artistic activities of the firm and served as accountant.

The first tiles were non-pictoral flower patterns:

William Morris floral tile: ColumbineWilliam Morris patterned tile: LongdenWilliam Morris patterned tile: Peterhouse Diaper

but became more ornate and included story tiles such as the fairy tale fireplacepanels:

Cinderella

,

Beauty and the Beast

Sleeping Beauty

(click the images to see the whole panel)

William Morris Wallpaper for Web Pages

These are seamless (or pretty close) William Morris wallpaper patterns. To save, position your mouse over the image, right click and choose Save As. Please don't link directly to these images on your own page. (If you don't know what that means, then you probably won't.) If you have any questions, you can ask me.

Membland tile pattern

Membland Tile Wallpaper

strawberry

Strawberry Thief

Trellis

Trellis


Daisy, light

Daisy, Light

Daisy, dark

Daisy, Dark

Willow

Willow

Marigold

Marigold

Peterhouse Diaper tile

Peterhouse Diaper Tile

Columbine Tile

Columbine Tile (see how it looks)

Raised Pattern

Raised Pattern wallpaper

Medway

Medway wallpaper

Bird and Vine

Bird and Vine

William Morris / Arts & Crafts Articles

William Morris, The Soul of Arts and Crafts

Morris 'The Forest' Tapestry

The forest is not a quiet place in the summer. Small birds roar together, the coded sounds of squirrels tapping their little feet resonate, and the screeches from the occasional colony of peacocks would travel for a mile. Leaves rustle as deer pass through a clearing. Eyes follow visitors from the shadows. Add to this a pony and a proper suit of armor and you can imagine the world through the eyes of an eight-year-old.

Such a boy was William Morris. By 1842, his family had.... Read More

What Is Arts and Crafts?

Morris Chair

Arts & Crafts is more a philosophy of design than a set of characteristics. At the center of the Arts and Crafts Movement is something holy, a reactionary vision standing against materialism. The the spirit of Arts and Crafts is a kind of kairos, the moment when the spiritual breaks through or incarnates the spiritual into the material worlds of architecture, furnishings and the decorative arts -- and it is from that center of understanding that we can trace its lineage and its future.... Read More

William De Morgan, Pre-Raphaelite Ceramics and Arts & Crafts Tile

William De Morgan originally oversaw the stained glass efforts at Morris & Co. He was interested in, and had a talent for, ceramics. He went on to start his own tile works. Morris & Co. stopped producing their own tiles and De Morgan eventually produced all of Morris & Co.'s tile and ceramics, until he closed his Fulham tileworks some 30 years later.

De Morgan Red Lustre tiles

Arts and Crafts as a style is a 20th century invention; for Victorians, it was a philosophy, even a world view. Arts and Crafts for Ruskin, Morris, De Morgan and their circle described the manner in which a thing was produced. A mass-produced Arts and Crafts style would have been a contradiction in terms.... Read More

Older Stuff

Images will appear in their own page when you follow these links:

Orange Acanthus

Blue Acanthus

Artichoke

Blue Wandle

Daisy

Peaches

Leaves

Small Wandle

Irises

Wallpaper

Wallpaper

Marigold

Medway

Flowertile

Flowerpot

Chrysanthemums

Trellis

angel window

Selected images of William Morris tapestries, stained glass, arts and crafts.

Tile Mural (Burne-Jones)

Library Windows

Stained Glass Angels

Illuminations

Dye Book: 1882 - 1891

Dye Book: 1882 - 1891

Book of Verse 1870

Book of Verse 1870

Kelmscott Chaucer

Kelmscott Chaucer

The Rubaiyat

Rubaiyat 1872

Pre-Raphaelites

:

The Pre-Raphaelites are moving to their own page: Please stand by....

Morris Resources (Fonts and Other Stuff You Can Buy )

William Morris Tile

Morris-designed rugs at Burrows

Looking for William Morris Art Prints or Posters?

In addition to the William Morris art prints available at Artsy Craftsy, there are a limited number of prints and several tapestries available. Browse the William Morris gallery. Or try a general search (by artist, subject, or title).

If you have your heart set on a particular print, I'll try to help if I can.

William Morris Tapestries and Textiles

Find William Morris Tapestries at William Morris Tapestries.

William Morris Designs

Morris designs for textile, stained glass, bookplates, tapestries, calligraphy, wallpapers, paintings, drawings, furniture, more.

Fonts

The Scriptorium offers art fonts (sometimes called dingbats) and traditional fonts based on various lettering. I bought several based on William Morris lettering (such as that in the logo).

You can download a demo version of many Scriptorium's fonts in Zip format or Stuffit for MacOS. (Pick up extraction utilities here.) Installation instructions are included. You can also download a sample version of the font of the month.

Where to Buy William Morris Prints: You can find Morris & Co. art prints at Artsy Craftsy.

About Art Passions: Art Passions began a tribute to artists whose work I grew up, and whose work has meaning for me personally. The list of artists on artpassions.net, including recent additions to the site, as well as other information are availble on the home page.

Important: Please do not link directly to images at artpassions or download the entire site. This makes me sad. See the FAQ for why this is a problem. If you download the entire site with an offline webstripper, you will take down the site. This will make me very grumpy and I will ban your IP address, entire domain or country, depending on how bad it was.

Other Art Image Collections

Art Passions Index - links to other art image collections on these pages.

Questions? Difficulties?

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