Reference Entry

Morris, William

Peter Stansky

in Oxford Art Online

ISBN: 9780195189483
Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T059724
Morris, William

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  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
  • Ceramic Arts, Pottery, and Glass
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  • Professional Interior Design
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  • Book Arts and Illustration
  • 19th-Century Art

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(b Walthamstow [now in London], March 24, 1834; d London, Oct 3, 1896).

English designer, writer and activist. His importance as both a designer and propagandist for the arts cannot easily be overestimated, and his influence has continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. He was a committed Socialist whose aim was that, as in the Middle Ages, art should be for the people and by the people, a view expressed in several of his writings. After abandoning his training as an architect, he studied painting among members of the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1861 he founded his own firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.), which produced stained glass, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics (see §3 below). Morris’s interests constantly led him into new activities such as his last enterprise, the Kelmscott Press (see §5 below). In 1950 his home at Walthamstow became the William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Society was founded in 1956, and it publishes a biannual journal and quarterly newsletter....

Reference Entry.  5637 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Ceramic Arts, Pottery, and Glass ; Graphic Design and Typography ; Professional Interior Design ; Publishing ; Textiles and Embroidery ; Book Arts and Illustration ; 19th-Century Art

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