Monday, 23 December 2013

Festive Mood at the William Morris Society Museum

There is something about the Victorian era 
that is so festive and very Christmasy.
Perhaps it is because it is during that period where we started many of our present holiday traditions such as the Christmas tree which was brought over by Queen Victoria's German husband.

So I finally got rid of my bah hambug mood when I visited the William Morris Society in Hammersmith by the Thames.

Sorry for the blur...
The two buildings in the picture are owned 
by the William Morris Society.
The annexe on the left is the museum and the workshop that William Morris himself worked.
The house on the right was his home which is presently being leased to a very lucky family!

It is on the Mall which is on the Thames Path which makes it a perfect destination for locals and tourists alike.
This picture was taken directly in front of the museum.
The museum entrance.

There is a special exhibition that is on until the 13th of February of some drawings and etchings by William Morris that was found in the main house behind a boiler during a renovation!

I apologize for the blur once again - 
I might go and retake the picture for those who are interested.

While there is an obvious admiration for a finished and edited work, there is something quite touching about an unfinished drawing 
and a draft especially by someone as talented 
as Morris and his team of designers.

For those who are familiar with William Morris might enjoy these drafts that much more.

The draft to one of his best selling fabric patterns.

I rarely covet as I know it is a sin but 
I do covet the drawing of the lamb.

I have just the spot for it as well...

They also have a book of Morris' wallpaper patterns.

There was also an adjoining room which not only served as his office but...

as his weekly meetings as he was head of the local chapter of the Socialists.  ( Mind you it had a different ring to it back then.)

I always find that image so amusing to think that the bastion of respectable middle class Victorian decor was a socialist!

They also displayed some of his woodblocks.

Don't you just want to snuggle in that chair upholstered in 
Morris fabric and read a book in front of the fireplace?

The exhibition was the perfectly curated.
Not too much and each drawing got its deserved attention.
I strongly recommend a visit if you are near.

As I left I could not help but be a voyeur and 
peep into the library of the main residence of the William Morris Society and admire the light and the original wallpaper that Mr Morris himself put up on the wall!

I bid you all a very Happy Holidays! 


  1. Thank you for this. I am such a William Morris fan. Go ahead, covet away!

  2. Love the pictures. I am beginning to question my eye sight so blurry or not they look the same to me. I have always found the creative process fascinating. Sometimes we just take the finish product for granted and forget the time, work, effort involved. The lamb is marvelous…of course I see a lamb at a bar with a pool stick and dart board behind him. Tells ya I'll be drinking later.

  3. @Connie - I only want the unfinished one so it's not that sinful right?

    @Blue Booby - Sorry about the blur - will rectify soon as my brother lives just a stone's throw from there. I can just imagine the plumbers readjusting some pipes to find some bits of paper! More and more I think plumbing is a great trade! Bottoms up :)

  4. What an interesting place to visit. I love the flower designs - very stylish.

    Here's wishing you a wonderful festive season Naomi, Merry Christmas!

  5. fabulous! Mr FF has WM curtains in his chambers, love them x

  6. @Patricia - The interesting thing is that it is still so stylish after all this time and it is soo distinctive. Merry Xmas to you and yours!

    @Faux Fuschia - Mr FF is quite debonair isn't he! It does lend an air of solidity and calm so would suit chambers very well indeed! x

  7. I have always admired the William Morris designs and colour combinations. This is definitely something I would enjoy and I shall try to fit in a visit before it ends. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your visits to my blog this year too!

  8. Your posts are never disappointing. I read every single line of them, I swear! This post made me think about some historical issues. It made sense being a socialist in those days, but how would have Morris and his affiliates reacted to the death of socialism and communism?
    A wonderful Merry Christmas, Naomi!

  9. @ miss b - William Morris had his color palette well tuned indeed. You would definitely enjoy the visit and the journey there as well. Wishing you a Merry Xmas and happy new year too!

    @Ordinette - Yes things were intense at the turn of the century but it is an unusual mix one rarely sees anymore. I can't imagine someone like Starck holding a political or any other weekly public meeting! I wish you and yours a Merry Xmas and a happy new year Laura!

  10. Fantastic - would love to go. Morris's biggest customer was in Adelaide - the Barr Smith family, who were the richest family in Australia at the time. They furnished 7 or 8 very large houses in Adelaide almost exclusively with William Morris & Co wallpapers, rugs, tapestries and furniture. They also collected books from the Kelmscott Press. As a consequence the Art Gallery of SA has a massive Morris collection (much of it was donated to the Gallery), although they only have a small part of it on display day to day. I think a lot of it gets loaned out to other galleries around the world for their exhibitions. There's also a lot still in private hands in Adelaide, and the Art Gallery bought Tapestries etc back when the company was just finishing up. My Dad's house is very Arts and Crafts inside, although no original Morris sadly. Have a wonderful Christmas N! xx

    1. Wow - didn't know that. Do they have open houses so the public can view once a year or so? Interesting because Vienna also had a huge selection of William Morris prints because I think he visited the city which was buzzing at the time. I don't recall that much in Melbourne or perhaps I just wasn't into it when I was younger. I think your dad's place would suit it so well too! I always think it such a pity that the bulk of museum's stocks are always in the basement. Hope you have a lovely Xmas Heidi! xxx

    2. The exhibition Heidi mentions travelled to Christchurch in 2008. It was a brilliant exhibition. Couldn't get enough of it. I adore William Morris.

  11. Love this! Another place to visit! I agree with you about the Victorian era and Christmas! Merry Christmas!

  12. You would love this place and there is a cute pub just nearby ;) Merry xmas to you and yours Wendy!

  13. I love the drafts !!! Hey my friend, I wish you a merry christmas ! Have a lot of fun and food :)

  14. Merry Christmas Naomi, hope you get spoiled.

  15. Merry Christmas, Naomi. I hope you have a relaxing time and that the house stuff isn't a distraction for a few days.I've loved all your posts.Please keep going.Xsue

  16. Wow that is amazing, I am a big fan of William Morris so thanks for sharing this I loved it!
    Merry Christmas Naomi!

  17. I wasn't able to fully appreciate this when you posted it on social media, but now I do and I understand. You have 'just the spot for it' ha ha. Does Mr CSW agree with this because I know your taste in decor hasn't always matched his, but that's the fun of renovating/decorating with your other half, right? No need to answer, you just have a fabulous Christmas - catch up soon xx

  18. Happy Holidays, and thank you for the glorious William Morris

  19. Merry Christmas, Naomi!! I am a big fan of William Morris. I took a course on design fundamentals a couple years ago and part of course looked at how to create patterns - it is much more difficult than it looks, so I appreciate them that much more!
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!!

  20. oh that WAS a delicious trip with you and Mr. W. Morris.


    especially the lighted windows one at the end......wistful and chilly in london-town.

  21. Good point about the Victorian era, I was a bit bah hambuggy too. Late to the party as always but I did want to wish you and yours merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season.

    Always fascinated by the sketches from my favorite artists. I say covet away, you're allowed. :)

  22. Naomi, Love to visit here. Love William Morris designs. Thanks for sharing all the details of how they are made! Wishing you a lovely holiday time. xx Kim


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