Morris, William, 1834-1896

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1834-03-24
Death 1896-10-03
Britons
English

Biographical notes:

Socialist, artist, and poet of England.

From the description of Papers of William Morris, circa 1888. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71132209

William Morris (1834-1896) was a British socialist, poet, artist and architect, and a leading figure in the Arts and Craft movement. He founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, was a cofounder and leader of the Socialist League and financed its organ Commonweal. He also founded his own publishing company, the Kelmscott Press, in 1893, and was active in organizing guilds of designers and decorative craftsmen.

From the description of William Morris letters, 1866-1897. (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 60951446

Born 1834; educated Marlborough College and Exeter College, Oxford University, 1853-1856, where he met Edward Coley Burne-Jones; entered Oxford office of the gothic revivalist architect, George Edmund Street, 1856; financed first 12 monthly issues of The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, 1856; persuaded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to give up architecture for painting, and joined a group painting the walls of the Oxford Union with scenes from Arthurian legend, 1856; shared a studio in Red Lion Square with Burne-Jones, 1856-1859; married Jane Burden, 1859; commissioned Philip Speakman Webb to build the Red House at Bexleyheath, 1859-1860; founded the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company, 1861, which included Ford Madox Brown, Rossetti, Webb and Burne-Jones and produced fine art furniture, stained glass and embroideries; moved to Bloomsbury, 1865; published various works of poetry, including The defence of Guenevere , 1858, the Death of Jason , 1867 , The Earthly Paradise , 1868-1870, and the Book of Verse , 1870; moved to Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, 1871; visited Iceland, 1871 and 1873; reorganised the firm under his sole proprietorship as Morris and Co, 1874, and began revolutionary experiments with vegetable dyes; gave first public lecture on 'The Decorative Arts', 1877, and published Hopes and fears for Art , 1882; founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 1877; moved to Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, 1878; moved the firm to Merton Abbey, Surrey, 1881; joined the Democratic (later Social Democratic) Federation, 1883; formed the Socialist League and the Hammersmith Socialist Society, 1884; started the Kelmscott Press, 1891; died 1896.

From the guide to the MORRIS, William, 1834-1896, designer, craftsman, poet and socialist, 1885, (British Library of Political and Economic Science)

British artist, craftsman, publisher, poet and writer.

From the description of Miscellaneous papers, ca. 1868-1896 (1934). (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 81665764

English craftsman, writer, socialist, and proprietor of the Kelmscott Press.

From the description of Manuscript note for the catalogue of his library, [between 1894 May 21 and 1896 Oct. 3]. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122591796

From the description of ALS : London, to an unidentified correspondent, 1889 Dec. 21. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122525230

William Morris (1834-1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist, associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1891, he set up the Kelmscott Press, with which he printed his own works as well as reprints of medieval texts and English classics.

From the description of List of books and manuscripts bought by William Morris, partly in his autograph, circa 1876. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702180127

William Morris was born on 24 March 1834 at Elm House, Walthamstow, London. Morris received his education at Marlborough College, 1848-1851, and Exeter College, Oxford, 1853-1855, where he originally intended to take holy orders. While studying at Oxford Morris became interested in social criticism and medieval art. On leaving university Morris began work at the architectural office of G. E. Street. By 1856 Morris abandoned architecture as a career to become an artist. He painted the Oxford Union frescoes which set in place his career as a designer and established the Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company, renamed Morris and Company in 1876. In 1862 he designed his famous textiles and wallpaper for the company. Morris also wrote poetry and prose. His first volume of poetry, The Defence of Guenevere appeared in 1858 and the poem which established his reputation as a poet, The Earthly Paradise was published between 1868-1870. Morris became involved in national politics. In 1876 he became treasurer of the Eastern Question Association and in 1879, a year after the Morris family moved to Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, he became treasurer of the National Liberal League. In 1883 Morris was made an honorary fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. That year he joined H. M. Hyndman's Socialist Democratic Federation. In 1884 Morris published Art and Socialism with Hyndman and after disagreements with Hyndman, Morris left to form the Socialist League and later the Hammersmith Socialist Society. He became editor of the Socialist Society's journal, Commonweal in 1885. In the 1880s and 1890s Morris lectured and wrote widely on socialism. In 1890 Morris founded the Kelmscott Press at premises near his Hammersmith home. Morris designed typefaces for the company and printed sixty-six volumes. Morris died at Kelmscott House on 3 October 1896.

From the guide to the Morris, William, 1877, (Senate House Library, University of London)

William Morris was an English artist, designer, poet and socialist. In the last decade of his life he turned to fine printing and operated theKelmscott Press at his home in Hammersmith, London.

From the description of ALS : London, [1891] May 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122455336

English designer, author, and visionary socialist.

From the description of The well at the world's end : autograph manuscript, undated. (Morgan Library & Museum). WorldCat record id: 82654408

English artist, architect, designer, and writer.

From the description of William Morris letter to [John] Oakley [manuscript], circa 1855. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 466874884

British poet, artist, decorator, manufacturer, printer, and socialist.

From the description of Postcard to W.H. Bowden, 1895. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122585083

William Morris was an English poet and artist who worked at architecture and painting, and founded the Kelmscott Press.

From the description of The story of Olaf the quiet, 1891. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 70237542

From the description of William Morris letter to Mrs. Malleson, [no year] May 7. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 34969068

Although best known as a craftsman, a writer, and for his Kelmscott Press, William Morris became active in socialist causes in the early 1880s.

From the description of ALS : London, to Mr. Sharman, 1885 Jan. 6. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122633698

English poet and artist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Lechlade, to Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, 1892 Dec. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270612834

From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : London and Brampton, to Ellis, 1881 June 22 and [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845758

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Merton Abbey, Surrey, to The Reverend Horace Meeres, 1890 Dec. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845747

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, to an unidentified recipient, 1890 Oct. 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845744

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, to Mr. Marks, [no year] June 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845726

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, to Robert Spence Watson, [1884] Oct. 17. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845722

From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : London, to Aglaia Ionides, [ca. 1870]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845762

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, to Swan M. Burnett, 1891 Apr. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845738

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to "The Very Reverend the Dean & the Reverend the Chapter, of Canterbury Cathedral, 1877 June 22. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845754

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to Chamberlain, 1880 Oct. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270845736

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Newcastle on Tyne, to Mr. Grey, 1876 June 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270612954

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Hammersmith, to an unidentified recipient, [no year] Sept. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270612809

From the description of Autograph letters signed (4) : London and Kelmscott House, to Wilfrid Hugh Chesson, 1878-1888. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270613135

From the description of News from nowhere, or, An epoch of rest : being some chapters from a Utopian romance : autograph manuscript signed : [Hammersmith], [1889-1890]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270870187

William Morris, English poet, artist, manufacturer and socialist.

From the description of Poems for The Earthly Paradise, ca. 1867? (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 79458078

Morris is credited with being the founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement as well as being an artist , illustrator and architect.

From the description of Bust portrait of Morris leaning on his right hand : photograph, nd. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754864252

William Morris (1834-1896) was an English poet, artist, socialist and private press founder. A major figure in the English Arts and Crafts Movement, Morris was known for creating fine decorative crafts such as furniture and textiles. He also initiated the private press movement with the founding of his Kelmscott Press in 1891. Morris created beautiful art books using traditional printing methods and medieval-inspired typography and design.

From the guide to the William Morris Correspondence, 1895, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

William Morris was an English artist, designer, poet and socialist. In the last decade of his life he turned to fine printing and established the Kelmscott Press at his home in Hammersmith, London.

From the description of ALS : London, to [William] Reeves, 1890 Oct. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145382397

Epithet: designer, author, and visionary socialist

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000210.0x000362

English poet and critic.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, to Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, 1895 Nov. 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270612826

Although best known as a craftsman, a writer, and for his Kelmscott Press, William Morris became active in socialist causes in the early 1880's.

From the description of Shall Ireland be free? : to the working people of Great Britain & Ireland : AMs, [ca. 1886]. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122586133

An ancient French romance based upon a legend of love and sacrifice, the story of Amis and Amile was translated and published by William Morris in 1894. The plot of the romance revolves around devoted friends, near twins in resemblance. When stricken with leprosy, Amis received a visitation from the archangel Raphael and was informed that his cure would be brought about only by telling Amile to slaughter his children and then bathe in their blood. Although Amis refused, Amile too had heard the angel, killed his children, bringing their blood to his sick friend, and immediately healed him. Miraculously, the children were restored to life thereafter, although both Amis and Amile were killed in battle, even death did not part them: though buried apart, their coffins were found together the next morning.

A textile designer, artist, writer, and publisher, William Morris was a deep proponent of traditional craftsmanship in an era of industrialization. Associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and a major figure in the English Arts and Crafts movement, Morris built on the writings of John Ruskin to develop a philosophy that at once prized craftsmanship and aesthetics and resisted the homogenization of mass production. Often drawing on medieval and romantic motifs and technologies, Morris's work reflected his socialist leanings, Morris operated the Kelmscott Press from 1891 to 1898 on the principle of employing traditional methods of book production, down to and including derivatives of fifteenth century typography and illustration. His version of Amis and Amile was printed in an edition of 500 at the Kelmscott Press in 1894 and by Thomas Bird Mosher in Maine later that year.

From the guide to the William Morris, The Friendship of Amis and Amile MS 362 bd., 1894, (Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries)

William Morris was born March 24, 1834 in Walthamstow, then a suburb of London; he attended Exeter College, Oxford and in 1855 he embarked on a varied career as a poet, artist, decorator, manufacturer, printer and lecturer. He helped to begin the Arts & Crafts movement in England and also strove to better the lives of the working class through his work with Socialist causes; after a lingering illness he died in London on October 3, 1896.

Sanford and Helen Berger, creators of the famous collection of William Morris, British Pre-Rafaelites, fine printing, and private presses. The Bergers became interested in Morris in 1965. In 1968, they acquired, from the descendants of John Henry Dearle, Morris's successor, the archives of Morris and Company and its successor firms, which included designs, cartoons for stained glass, designs for wallpaper, figure studies drawn by Morris, printed and woven textiles, carpets, tapestries, and embroideries, photographs, and important business records. The Bergers collection of stained glass, furniture, tiles, pottery, art work, manuscripts and printed books, one of the premier nineteenth century Arts & Crafts collections in the world, was exhibited in the United States, Australia, and Europe. The Huntington Library acquired the collection in 1999.

From the description of Papers of William Morris, 1839-1999. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 78678762

William Morris (1834-1896) was a British socialist, poet, artist and architect, and leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. He founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, was a cofounder and leader of the Socialist League and financed its organ Commonweal . He founded his own publishing company, the Kelmscott Press, in 1893 and was active in organizing guilds of designers and decorative craftsmen.

Sources:

Derived from: International Institute for Social History Archives http://www.iisg.nl/archives/morris/ See also: William Morris Society http://www.morrissociety.org/ See also: William Morris Internet Archive (includes chronology) http://www.marxists.org/archive/morris/

From the guide to the William Morris Letters, Bulk, 1866-1897, 1840-1897, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

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Subjects:

  • English poetry--19th century
  • Art--Illustrators
  • Communication skills
  • Political doctrines
  • Private libraries
  • Poets, English--19th century
  • Dyes and dyeing
  • Arts and crafts movement
  • Embroidery
  • Kelmscott Press
  • Book collectors
  • Bookbinding--19th century
  • Cathedrals--Design and construction
  • Private press books
  • Decorative arts--History--19th century--Sources
  • Publishers and Publishing
  • Writing
  • Socialists--Great Britain
  • Poets, English--19th century--Manuscripts
  • Fine books--History--19th century--Sources
  • Tyler's Insurrection, 1381--Poetry
  • Journalism
  • Calligraphic manuscripts
  • Artists
  • Translations
  • Sagas--Translations into English
  • Architects--Correspondence
  • Socialism
  • Coronio, Aglaia Ionides--Correspondence
  • Communication process
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • Historic buildings
  • Literature--American Poetry
  • Chron--1876
  • Authors, English--19th century--Archives
  • Home rule
  • Wood-engraving--19th century
  • Pre--Raphaelites--Correspondence
  • Socialists
  • Socialism--History--19th century--Sources
  • Kelmscott House (London, England)
  • Glass painting and staining
  • Poets, English
  • Decoration and ornament--History--19th century
  • Illumination of books and manuscripts
  • Biographers--Archives
  • Private presses--19th century
  • Artists, English--19th century--Archives
  • Private presses--History--19th century--Sources
  • Illustrated books
  • Poems
  • Socialism--19th century
  • Art and society
  • Type and type-founding
  • Wallpaper
  • Working class
  • Illustration of books
  • Wood-engraving--History
  • Letter-writing

Occupations:

  • Designer
  • Authors--19th century.--England--London
  • Poets
  • Type designers
  • Printer
  • Socialists
  • Artists
  • Printers--19th century.--England--London

Places:

  • Jerusalem, Israel (as recorded)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon (England) (as recorded)
  • Ireland (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Walthamstow, Borough of, London (as recorded)
  • London, county of, England (as recorded)
  • Kensington, Middlesex (as recorded)
  • Afghanistan, Asia (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Denshawaï, Egypt (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
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  • Christchurch, Hampshire (as recorded)
  • Venice, Italy (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
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  • England (as recorded)
  • England--London (as recorded)
  • Iceland, Europe (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Norway, Europe (as recorded)
  • England--London (as recorded)
  • s Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)