William Morris Textiles: Now and Then

Thursday 16 March / 6–8pm (Fully Booked)


With Jenny Lister, Victoria and Albert Museum

William Morris’ designs for wallpaper and textiles have remained popular since the late 19th century. Join Jenny Lister, Curator of textiles and fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum to explore why Morris’s approach to design and decoration, that one should “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” has such enduring appeal.

William Morris (1834–96) co-founded the decorative arts firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown, Philip Webb, Charles Faulkner and Peter Paul Marshall in 1861. In 1875, Morris assumed sole control of the business, which was renamed Morris & Co., and became an influential supporter of the South Kensington Museum. His firm contributed to the decoration of the Museum, and in his capacity as Art Referee he supported some major acquisitions. Following his death over a century ago, Morris’ work as a designer, artist and writer has continued to influence the way people live. Many of Morris’ fabric designs and patterns are still available to buy and organisations including the National Trust, the William Morris Gallery and Sandersons help to promote his work.

In this fascinating talk Jenny Lister describes the collection of Morris’ work at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She highlights the important role May Morris played in securing her father’s legacy, as well as the different ways that 21st century curators, historians and commercial partners are using the collection today.

Jenny Lister is Curator of Fashion and Textiles 1800-1914 at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She co-curated the V&A exhibitions Swinging Sixties and Grace Kelly Style and co-edited the accompanying books. She is a contributor to the forthcoming book ‘May Morris: Artist, Designer, Embroiderer’ which is due to be co-published by the V&A and William Morris Gallery with Thames & Hudson).

The event starts at 6pm with a drink in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the exhibition JOSEF FRANK Patterns–Furniture–Painting; the talk and discussion follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including a book signing and the chance to ask questions at the end. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.

Price £15 / £12 students includes a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.

Fully Booked
To joint he waiting list please complete our enquiry form.

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