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Mary (May) Morris

Mary (May) Morris, photograph in collection of photographic portraits by Frederick Hollyer in three volumes, vol. 3, ca. 1890. Museum no. X.589

Mary (May) Morris, photograph in collection of photographic portraits by Frederick Hollyer in three volumes, vol. 3, ca. 1890. Museum no. X.589

May Morris bequeathed ceramics, table glass, embroideries, textiles, designs and jewellery to the Museum on her death in 1938.

May Morris was born on 25 March 1862 at Red House, Bexleyheath. The daughter of William Morris, she studied textile arts at the South Kensington School of Design from 1880-1883 and was Director of the embroidery department at Morris & Co. from 1885 until about 1896. May Morris was active in the Royal School of Art Needlework (now the Royal School of Needlework) and an influential embroiderer and jewellery designer. She founded the Women's Guild of Arts in 1907 and remained its president until 1935. She died in 1938. Her bequest to the Victoria and Albert Museum included ceramics by William de Morgan, table glass by Philip Webb and embroideries, textiles, designs and drawings by William Morris, as well as jewellery belonging to her mother Jane Morris (née Burden). Several works by May Morris are displayed in the V&A’s galleries.


Information in the V&A Archive

MA/1/M2833: Nominal file – May Morris (bequest)

MA/46/1/3: Advisory Council minutes

Selected printed works

Marsh, Jan. Jane and May Morris: a biographical story, 1839-1938. London and New York: Pandora Press, 1986. NAL pressmark: 507.A.122

Marsh, Jan. ‘Morris, Mary [May] (1862–1938).’ In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. NAL pressmark: 920.041 DIC

Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris: art and Kelmscott. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1996. NAL pressmark: NB.96.0943

Parry, Linda. Textiles of the arts and crafts movement. London: Thames and Hudson, 1988. NAL pressmark: 510.G.230

To locate material in the National Art Library, please search the Library Catalogue.

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