A pattern designer should know all about the craft for which he has to draw.
– William Morris, English textile designer, artist, writer and socialist (1834-1896)
I was quite taken with William Morris after my recent visit to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, a district of east London. Recently renovated, the 1840s mansion where Morris lived tells the story of the Victorian renaissance man.
Mr. Morris is mostly known for his textile designs. With several partners he opened a decorative arts firm in 1861 and soon became popular with London’s bohemian crowd including Oscar Wilde. In 1861 Mr. Morris was commissioned to decorate the Green Dining Room of the South Kensington Museum, now known as the Morris Room in the Victoria & Albert Museum.