Essay about William Morris

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William Morris William Morris, English poet, artist, socialist reformer, and innovator in the Arts and Crafts Movement. He was born in Walthamstow, then a village, and moved to a grand residence there called Water House at the age of 14 - this has since become the William Morris Gallery. He studied at Oxford with the intention of becoming a clergyman, but while there he met Edward Coley Burne-Jones, also studying for the church, and they both began to turn towards art. They were persuaded by Rossetti to give up the studies and become artists. Morris did a year in architectural practice of G. E. Street, and then turned to painting. However, he soon found that his metier was design. The cooperative attempt to decorate his new house (the…show more content…
Morris married Jane Burden, a beautiful model who appears in many Pre-Raphaelite paintings (it is she who sat for nearly all Rossetti's later works). Jane, together with her sister Bessie, did embroideries for Morris's firm. Philip Webb designed much of the furniture, metalwork, and many tiles. For stained glass, Morris generally designed the backgrounds and Burne-Jones drew most of the figures, with Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown also contributing designs. Burne-Jones also collaborated with Morris on tapestries, designed many tiles, and drew for the books produced by the Kelmscott Press, founded by Morris in 1891. Morris was described by Walter Crane as being 'the first to approach the craft of practical printing from the point of view of the artist'. The most important book of the Press was the Kelmscott Chaucer, which has been described as the most beautiful book to be produced since the Renaissance. This had typography and borders by Morris, with 87 illustrations by Burne-Jones. Other artists working as designers for the Kelmscott Press included C. M. Gere, Arthur Gaskin, and E. H. New, all from the Birmingham School of Art, and the Birmingham illustrators were in general much influenced by Morris's books. Morris's novels are still readily available from second hand bookshops - they are not in great demand so do not part with more than a pound - but the Kelmscott Press books are very precious. A
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