English, 1834 - 1896
Blackthorn pattern from a set of ten wallpaper sheets, 1892
image: H. 41 x W. 22 in.
H. 46 x W. 27 in.
As a designer, craftsman, and theorist, William Morris had a tremendous impact on 19th- and 20th-century art. He was the first to champion such principles as "truth to materials," which became the credo of the Arts and Crafts movement and its admiration for handmade, well-crafted objects. Morris himself excelled at creating flat patterns based on fruit, flower, and bird forms. He was especially talented at designing carpets, fabrics, stained glass, and wallpapers, and is credited with having produced 50 different wallpaper patterns during the mid- to late 1800s. His company—Morris, Marshall & Faulkner (later Morris & Co.)—helped make his products available to middle-class consumers everywhere for almost 80 years.