We are honored to print six designs of 19th-century artist William Morris on SelectBlinds shades and drapery, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum. Founded in 1852 to make works of art available to all, today the V&A is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance.
Morris was a great champion of the Arts and Crafts Movement and a key figure in British socialism at the end of the 19th century. Designer, poet, novelist, translator and entrepreneur, Morris’ work still has a profound influence on fashion and interiors. This collection of blinds and drapes celebrates that legacy.
Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Photo Credit: The Victoria and Albert Museum
Morris’ love of nature was a well-spring for his work. In reaction to the social, moral, and aesthetic chaos created by the Industrial Revolution, he sought to feature English meadows and hedgerows in his floral fabrics and wallpapers. Bringing the natural world indoors, Morris’ designs interweave flowers, trees, birds, animals and insects influenced by the greenery in his own garden and from walks along the riverbanks. ‘Strawberry Thief’, for example, was inspired by the thrushes that stole the juicy strawberries from his kitchen garden.
Morris’ belief in equality of access to the arts made him a great friend to the South Kensington Museum (later renamed the V&A). Today, he remains one of the most famous names in the V&A collection. Morris had an important influence on some of the museum’s earliest collecting policies, but as an artist he was also inspired by its collections. His legacy can still be found all over the V&A, not only in its extensive collections of Morris’ work, but also in the very fabric of the building which Morris helped to design.
William Morris Timeline
1834 – Born in Walthamstow, east London
1855 – Realized he wanted to pursue art as a career
1859 – Married to Jane Burden
1861 – Founded Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.
1862 – Artwork exhibited at the International Exhibition
1865 – Company commissioned for the West Dining Room of the South Kensington Museum (renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1899)
1875 – Became sole director of the renamed and restructured Morris & Company
1876 – Became an examiner at South Kensington Museum’s art school
1877 – Opened an “all under one roof” retail shop
1881 – Production moved to a factory
1884 – “Morrisonian” became a known term. Morris was invited to join the South Kensington Museum’s Committee of Art Referees
1893 – Contributed to the South Kensington Museum’s collections
1896 – Passed away at Hammersmith, near London