Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy

The current exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is an exploration of William Morris’ life and the people that he inspired

As an artist Morris designed a range of now recognisable patterns for fabric and wallpaper. They are very nature based incorporating flowers, animals and vines as can be seen above .

William Morris by George Frederic Watts    William Morris, Self portrait

During his time, Morris was known better for his poetry and “ He was a passionate social reformer, an early environmentalist, and an important political theorist.” His lectures inspired and he was dedicated to “transforming human lives”.

“‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ William Morris lecture ‘The beautiful life’ 1880”.  Above are images of Morris’ home The Red House, now a national trust property, designed by architect Phillip Webb. 

His work and ideas have inspired many designers and the Festival of Britain in 1951 was an inspiration for Terence Conran’s and more. Giving them the ideas of making high design accessible to everyone.

Here is a link to the NPG’s page on the exhibition

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