William Morris (1834-1896) was born in Walthamstow, Essex, the son of a wealthy city stockbroker. He was educated at Marlborough public school, then went to Oxford, where he met Edward Burne-Jones and Philip Webb, both of whom became lifelong friends. Both Morris and Burne-Jones intended entering the Church, but they gained inspiration from the writings of John Ruskin, and decided they wanted to become artists. Ruskin saw the work of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as 'the dawn of a new era of art'. Through Burne-Jones, he met Rossetti and other Pre-Raphaelite painters. Encouraged by Rossetti, Morris turned from architecture to painting, and was at the same time writing poetry. In 1859 he married Jane Burden, the archetypal Pre-Raphaelite beauty with brooding eyes, who appears in several of Rossetti's paintings. Early in their marriage they moved into 'Red House' in Bexleyheath, Kent, which had been designed for them by Philip Webb. Here the Morrises and their friends conceived the idea of 'The Firm' in 1861. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, later to become Morris & Co, famous for its arts and crafts work. His greatest achievement as a designer was in the field of textiles and wallpapers. In 1883 became a socialist and along with Walter Crane, Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling formed the Socialist League. Strongly influenced by the ideas of William Morris, the party published a manifesto where it advocated revolutionary international socialism.
Anthology of writings on interior design by William Morris and his contemporaries; information about the early years of the movement in England and America. From JR Burrows - historical design merchants.
The Red House in Bexley, England. Designed by Philip Webb for William Morris. Includes photographs, bibliography, visitor information with online booking, and membership information.
Company founded as a direct result of the design, decoration, and furnishing of the Morris's new home, Red House (situated in what is now a South London suburb) by a group including Morris himself and a number of his friends and associates. From The Victorian Web.
A short piece from the Victorian Web by George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University.
Biography from Spartacus Educational about the life and work of William Morris. Covers his Arts and Crafts work, and his Socialist reforms ideas.
Article from the University of Toledo about the birth of the arts and crafts movement, whose primary proponents were William Morris and Jogn Ruskin.
Contains William Morris' political writings as well as artist's biography and a collection of photographs.
Article on Morris by Laurence Arnold. Includes Morris texts and graphics, a comprehensive list of Morris books (from Amazon) and a William Morris discussion group.
Notes on William Morris, especially relating to his activities as an artist and illustrator and his relations with the arts and crafts and with the Pre-Raphaelites. From Bob Speel.
About the 19th century British craftsman, designer, writer, typographer, and Socialist. Events and publications, the William Morris Society, links and other materials.
Biography from The Victorian Web by David Cody, associate professor of English, Hartwick College.
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