As a political theorist, publisher, environmental campaigner and poet, William Morris was one of the most influential figures of the 19th century. Yet his most enduring legacy belongs to the realm of interiors where he played a pioneering role in developing British design and supporting traditional craftsmanship. His company, Morris & Co, came to be known as the leading light of the Arts & Crafts movement, loved for its beautifully crafted fabrics and wallpaper that depicted compelling scenes of nature and iconic patterns. Now, to celebrate 160 years in business, the company is sharing its favourite original Morris works, alongside the release of a stunning new wallpaper panel, Owl & Willow.
‘Since 1861, Morris & Co has gone from strength to strength. This is an extraordinary accomplishment and we’re marking the occasion with an exciting new wallpaper that captures the spirit of our founder, the master of pattern and repeat,’ says Rebecca Craig, head of design for Morris & Co. ‘We know Morris was passionate about medieval forms and we suspect this influenced his 1890 Holy Grail tapestry, commissioned by Stanmore Hall in London. Inspired by Verdure, which sat behind the tapestries, we have created Owl & Willow, a captivating, colourful scene of enchanting wildlife, stylised trees and delicate florals that pays homage to both William Morris the man and his remarkable designs.’
We have created Owl & Willow, a captivating colourful scene of enchanting wildlife, stylised trees and delicate florals that pays homage to both William Morris the man and his remarkable designs
At Morris & Co today, original archival documents are used to faithfully reproduce William Morris’s cherished designs from the 19th century. Although it makes considered adaptations to reach new audiences, the company retains the artist’s high regard for traditional craftsmanship and incredible eye for timeless pattern, while ensuring that his reputation lives on with a new audience of traditionalists and millennials alike.
Rebecca concludes: ‘We’re bridging generations and creating a coming together of those whose paths may never normally cross, but for whom William Morris holds a special place in their hearts, enabling freedom of expression and an enduring sense of style.’ A hundred and sixty years after he launched his namesake company, we think William Morris would approve.
Morris & Co Chalfont House, Oxford Road, Denham, Uxbridge, UB9 4DX +44 (0)20 3457 5862
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