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  • William Morris (1834 – 1896)

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    William Morris was the most important designer and utopian thinker of 19th century England. He is widely regarded as the founder of the fantasy genre. (Wiki)

    Objects created industrially were of poor quality and soulless in Morris' eyes. He was therefore in favour of a revival of the craft. He tried to achieve this by establishing a working community based on the medieval guilds, Morris & Company. This company formed a platform for various medieval crafts, including the design of stained glass windows, making furniture, embroidery, wallpaper, ... Morris was also innovative in the field of marketing. Morris & Company's showroom in London was one of the first examples of display window art: the articles that were displayed there were combined in a visually attractive way.

    Since Morris was an advocate of folk art, he focused his attention exclusively on the applied arts. After all, the production of everyday utensils was much less elitist than painting, which was only of interest to the rich upper class. The fact that his craftsmanship was too expensive for the common people caused him a lot of frustration.

    For Morris, the form of an object had to be linked to its function. He pleaded for quality products and therefore founded several organizations, of which the Arts & Craft Exhibition Society was undoubtedly the most important.

    He was averse to mass production and his call for the revaluation of crafts, handcrafts and craftsmanship had a major influence on new arts and crafts movements throughout Western Europe, including the arts and crafts movement. His firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co were associated with many renowned artists.

    Between 1891 and October 1896 the Kelmscott Press produced 42 books. After the death of Morris, his collaborators put the press into operation for another year and a half to complete the eleven editions with which Morris had started. (source: Wiki)