William Morris

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William Morris

One of the 19th century's most famous names, William Morris is still renowned today as the designer of patterns such as 'Willow Bough' and 'Strawberry Thief'. But his wallpapers and textiles are only part of the story. Through developing many other products and working on interiors schemes (including one for the V&A's own café), Morris also mastered many other areas of design – as well as finding time to be a social activist and celebrated author.

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The V&A's hugely varied Morris collection reflects the impressive range of one of Britain's most prolific designers. There is a strong focus on Morris's celebrated designs for wallpapers and printed textiles, but other areas of his (and his collaborators') practice are also well represented, including tiles, stained glass, floor coverings, embroidery and furniture. Our collections also feature examples of Morris's publishing design for Kelmscott Press, as well as a number of his illustrated manuscripts.

Exploring William Morris

Photo of Bullerswood Carpet, William Morris and John Henry Dearle, about 1889, England. Museum no. T.31-1923. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Bullerswood Carpet, William Morris and John Henry Dearle, about 1889, England. Museum no. T.31-1923. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Strawberry Thief, furnishing fabric, designed by William Morris, made by Morris & Co., 1883, England. Museum no. T.586-1919. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Strawberry Thief, furnishing fabric, designed by William Morris, made by Morris & Co., 1883, England. Museum no. T.586-1919. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Tile, designed by William Morris, decorated by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., 1862, England. Museum no. C.58-1931. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Tile, designed by William Morris, decorated by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., 1862, England. Museum no. C.58-1931. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Acanthus wallpaper, designed by William Morris, manufactured by Jeffrey & Co., 1875, England. Museum no. E.800-1915. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Acanthus wallpaper, designed by William Morris, manufactured by Jeffrey & Co., 1875, England. Museum no. E.800-1915. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of The wood beyond the world, designed by William Morris, published by Kelmscott Press, 1894, England. Museum no. 38041800870107. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The wood beyond the world, designed by William Morris, published by Kelmscott Press, 1894, England. Museum no. 38041800870107. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Fruit wallpaper, William Morris, 1865 – 66, England. Museum no. E.2210-1913. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Fruit wallpaper, William Morris, 1865 – 66, England. Museum no. E.2210-1913. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wreath wallpaper, designed by William Morris, manufactured by Jeffrey & Co., 1876, England. Museum no. E.501-1919. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wreath wallpaper, designed by William Morris, manufactured by Jeffrey & Co., 1876, England. Museum no. E.501-1919. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Drawing of Helen (Flamma Troiae), William Morris, about 1860, England. Museum no. E.571-1940. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Drawing of Helen (Flamma Troiae), William Morris, about 1860, England. Museum no. E.571-1940. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Lotus wall hanging, designed by William Morris, embroidered by Margaret Beale, 1875 – 1880, England. Museum no. T.192-1953. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Lotus wall hanging, designed by William Morris, embroidered by Margaret Beale, 1875 – 1880, England. Museum no. T.192-1953. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wall hanging, designed by William Morris, made by Ada Phoebe Godman, 1877, England. Museum no. T.166-1978. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wall hanging, designed by William Morris, made by Ada Phoebe Godman, 1877, England. Museum no. T.166-1978. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of The Orchard, tapestry, designed by William Morris and John Henry Dearle, made by 1890, England. Museum no. 154-1898. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Orchard, tapestry, designed by William Morris and John Henry Dearle, made by 1890, England. Museum no. 154-1898. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Honeysuckle furnishing fabric, designed by William Morris for Morris & Co., made by Sir Thomas and Arthur Wardle Ltd., 1876, England. Museum no. CIRC.491-1965. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Honeysuckle furnishing fabric, designed by William Morris for Morris & Co., made by Sir Thomas and Arthur Wardle Ltd., 1876, England. Museum no. CIRC.491-1965. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Learn more about William Morris