William Morris

Throughout the Museum

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Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

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.

Collection Highlights

carpet
The Bullerswood Carpet, designed by William Morris and John Henry Dearle, 1889, London, England
Book
(Inside) The wood beyond the world, book, designed by William Morris, published by Kelmscott Press, 1894, Hammersmith, England
wallpaper
Wreath, wallpaper, designed by William Morris, manufactured by Jeffrey & Co., 1876, England
wall hanging
Lotus, wall hanging, designed by William Morris, by Margaret Beale, 1875 – 80, England
furnishing fabric
Honeysuckle, furnishing fabric, designed by William Morris, made for Morris & Co., 1876, Leek, England
Strawberry Thief, furnishing fabric, designed by William Morris, made by Morris & Co., 1883, England. Museum no. T.586-1919. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
wallpaper
(Detail) Acanthus, wallpaper, designed by William Morris, manufactured by Jeffrey & Co., 1875, Britain
tile
Tile, designed by William Morris, by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., 1862 - 81, London, England
wallpaper
Fruit, wallpaper, designed by Morris, William, published by Morris & Co., 1865 – 66, London, England
drawing
Helen (Flamma Troiae), drawing, by William Morris, about 1860
wall hanging
Wall hanging, designed by William Morris, made by Ada Phoebe Godman, 1877, Yorkshire, England
tapestry
The Orchard, tapestry, designed by William Morris and John Henry Dearle, 1890, Britain

Features

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