William Morris’s birthplace reopens
Museum in east London celebrates arts and crafts pioneer and his legacy
By Javier Pes. Museums, Issue 237, July-August 2012
Published online: 31 July 2012
The artist, craftsman, writer, bookmaker and firebrand socialist William Morris was said by one of his doctors to have died in 1896 “simply of being William Morris and having done more work than most ten men”. The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, east London, reopens on 2 August after a £10m revamp of the museum and its surrounding garden and parkland.
The museum is housed in an 18th-century building where Morris was born in 1846 and grew up. Then in the semi-rural outskirts of the capital, it is now surrounded by the suburban sprawl he railed against. Exhibits include fine examples of the artist’s work in print, wallpaper and textiles, and those of his friends including Edward Burne-Jones. The artist Grayson Perry also has a studio in the unfashionable suburb and Perry’s large-scale Walthamstow Tapestry, 2009, features in the inaugural show (until 23 September).
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