Thursday, 2 March 2017

March Means...Birthday Time!

Birthday Boy William Morris will be feted by the society on Saturday, March 25. For all the details, visit our "Future Events" tab above.

There'll be a lecture by Sheila Latham on Morris's time in Oxford. And there'll be cake.

Illustration: the murals at the Oxford Union, created by Morris and friends.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Join us This Saturday!

Group tour of the exhibition Sheila Hicks: Material Voices
11:15 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017
The Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue, Toronto

Entrance fee at the door: $10
TTC directions: St. Patrick subway station

Drawing on global weaving traditions as well as the history of painting, sculpture, graphic design and architecture, American artist Sheila Hicks has redefined the role of fibre in art. The exhibition Sheila Hicks: Material Voices spans 50 years of her prolific artistic career

Keep checking our Future Events tab at the top of the page for more information.

See you Saturday!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Lots to See and Do

We've just updated our Of Interest page (see tab above) to direct you to Morris and Morris-related events coming up around the world.

Please let us know if there's something we've missed!

Flaming June
Frederic Leighton, 1895 ©Museo de Arte de Ponce. The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.

Monday, 7 November 2016

The Fall so Far

What a long and beautiful fall it has been, and there are still many leaves on the trees, mainly just the yellow ones left now.

The annual WMSC fall weekend trip was another highly enjoyable success, timed to coincide with the height of the fall colours (October 15/16), and this year the visit was to Collingwood.

And last week William Whitla presented an excellent introduction to Morris, "The Life and Work of William Morris" in Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium at the central Toronto Reference Library. JUST when you thought you knew a lot about Morris, Bill illuminated us still further in a most uplifting and informative illustrated presentation.

The WMSC will pause to celebrate the season at our annual dinner, and then please watch our Future Events tab at the top for some exciting events in the new year!

Below: the first four images are from the Collingwood tour, the first three taken by WMSC president Susan Pekilis. The top picture is Claverleigh, built 1871, now a national historic site near Creemore. The second and third pictures are the federal building in Collingwood, built 1914. And the fourth picture is by member Ria Harvey, showing some trip attendees against some lovely fall trees.

The bottom two images are from William Whitla's talk at the Toronto Reference Library, taken by WMSC board member Gianna Wichelow.

Sunday, 30 October 2016


As previously announced, on Tuesday, November 1, William Whitla will present a lecture titled, The Life and Work of William Morris.

Its still the same date, the same place, but the start time has changed from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Toronto Reference Library
Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium, main floor
789 Yonge Street, Toronto

Tip: The library is just a short walk up Yonge Street, north of Bloor. Nearest subway: Yonge/Bloor subway station.

1881: What a Year!

Last month members of the WMSC gathered for our Annual General Meeting and an entertaining and informative illustrated lecture, 1881: A Year in the Life of William Morris, presented by past-president John Wichelow (left).
The location was once again the Textile Museum of Canada, which has a comfortable auditorium. First off president Susan Pekilis and treasurer Dale Moore gave encouraging reports of the past year's activities and finances. After a break for refreshments, it was lecture time.

Last year, John gave a similar talk, focusing on the year 1876. This format is particularly successful in giving us a more fulsome picture of Morris as a real person, a remarkable one at that, who poured more energy and productivity in a year than some do in a lifetime. So the society was delighted to repeat it.

1881 was action-packed and bursting with idealism. This wonderful and unfortunately still timely quote was from a letter he wrote on January 1 of that year to Georgiana Burne-Jones:

“… and my mind is very full of the great change which I hope is slowly coming over the world, and of which surely this new year will be one of the landmarks…. a word of hope for the new year, that it may do a good turn of work toward the abasement of the rich and the raising up of the poor, which is of all things most to be longed for, till people can at last rub out from their dictionaries altogether those dreadful words rich and poor”.

We were reminded of how productive Morris was, how driven and inspired in all aspects of his interests, from design to class struggles, conservation to politics. We learned more about his close friendships and his devotion to his family. And it left us wanting more. Hopefully next year we can learn about another year in the fascinating life of William Morris.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Fall for Morris!

We have it on good authority that fall is not far off, and in keeping with the shortening days and lengthening nights, the WMSC has got a great line up over three evenings.

Check out our FUTURE EVENTS tab above to find out more.

Our Annual General Meeting takes place on Tuesday, September 20 at the Textile Museum of Canada. The short meeting will be followed by an illustrated lecture, "1881: A Year in Morris" presented by John Wichelow. Last year John presented a similar lecture on 1876. It was a very successful format and that's why we're repeating it. Morris has many highly productive and interesting years in his busy, brilliant life.

Over the weekend of October 15/16 we are running the Collingwood Heritage Tour, another in our series of highly popular weekend excursions, this time to the southern shore of Georgian Bay, where we will explore the area’s history and architecture! As in previous fall excursions, transport will be by luxury coach, and the costs include all meals and overnight accommodation at the Cranberry Resort. These will be two fun, packed days with visits to galleries, musuems, craft studios and a number of architectural treasures from grand homes to a log cabin and even a jail!

On Tuesday, November 1, join us for an illustrated lecture by Professor William Whitla, titled "The Life and Work of William Morris." This is a great way to introduce newbies to the wonderful Morris, so please share this information widely! This lecture is jointly sponsored by the Toronto Reference Library and takes place in the Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium.

Image: Portrait of William Morris by George Frederic Watts