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The Story of The British Textile Designer, William Morris

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William Morris was a British textile designer who lived from 1834 till 1896. He graduated from Exeter College, Oxford and, upon graduation, became an architect. After several years of being a successful architect, he decided to become a painter. The decision was influenced by fellow painters Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Jane Burden and Morris were married in 1859 and they happily built and designed their forever home on Bexley Heath, called the Red House. The house’s exterior was designed by Philip Webb and the interior was designed by Mr. and Mrs. Morris themselves. Proud with what they had accomplished, they created the company Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. The company specialized in wallpaper and home furnishings.

Towards the mid-1800s, Morris decided to concentrate his artistic focus on wallpaper design and most of his best wallpaper designs were of the natural world. By 1875 Morris opened his new business Morris and Co. The Social Democratic Federation is the political party that Morris joined in 1883 and he helped with the creation of another party, the Socialist League. In the 1890s he set up a publishing company, the Kelmscott Press. His inspiration for writing is from the Icelandic sagas and it was the subject in some of his best poems. Morris lived a very successful life and within his lifetime, per his doctor, he “carried out the work of ten men during his lifetime” (James, 2012). “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” (Morris).

Morris has a lot of floral works that he had made and today floral patterns are everywhere. Floral artworks are used by graphic designers all over the world for anything and everything. I believe he hit the nail on the head with the patterns he chose because they can be universal and are pleasing to the eye. They also make things and houses look just a little more expensive.

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