Wow today is the birthday of William Morris. I love his designs though they are quite fussy they appeal to me and I know they have inspired some of my favourite textile designers today.
William Morris dedicated his life to creating beautiful and useful designs for textiles which proved that you could mass produce beauty.
He was driven to rise up against the ugliness and injustice of capitalist society. Definitely a Marxist but with a passion for beauty. Capitalism is the word he used, as opposed to “industrial society” or “the modern world”, after he read and embraced the writings of Karl Marx and became a Marxist in the 1880s. Much earlier though, what turned him into a rebel against Victorian Britain was the sheer ugliness and tackiness of the middle class luxuries that filled the Great Exhibition in 1851.
This colossal event, staged in the specially built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, was full of new-gothic, neo-Renaissance, neo-everything nightmares of bad design and ponderous art. Morris as a young man was horrified at the ugliness he saw & wanted to create beauty. I get that I totally do.
As a lover of beautiful fabric designs I applaud this visionary of the industrial age who helped created a textile design industry that let’s face it I spend much of my spare time immersed in. Thank you William Morris.