Sunday 30 March 2014

Two Weeks in Morris

So what's been flying around the Twitterverse the last two weeks?

It was very busy last week, with museums celebrating Museum Week and featuring a different angle each day. There was lots of interesting news to read, including the following:

 ~ Kelmscott Manor tweeted that Jan Marsh's 2012 lecture on May Morris for the Society of Antiquaries is up on YouTube! Another Society of Antiquaries video is Nigel Bamforth talking about the Morris bed at Kelmscott.

~ Our friends at Red House featured last week's WMSC Symposium cake on their Facebook page and it was viewed by 26,000 people at last count. Amazing! Many thanks to them for the feature. On this website, our post on all our previous cakes got over 500 views.

~ WMSC members may remember the 2008 trip to Chicago and Wisconsin and the visit to the SC Johnson factory in Racine. The tower there was closed to the public and now it's opening for tours for the first time.

~ William Morris's birthday was marked by many comments on Twitter on his remarkble legacy. We tweeted thusly: Happy 180th Birthday to #WilliamMorris... Great thinker and doer, whose vigorous and passionate ideals resonate timelessly. David Leopold wrote a delightful post on the Oxford University Press blog about how Morris may have celebrated his birthdays.

~ WMSC member Elaine Waisglass generously donated one of her stunning photographs to OCAD's Project 31 Auction, in support of students. Elaine's own show at the Roberts Gallery runs April 5 to 25.

~ Let the sighing commence: Delaware Art Museum has got their Pre-Raphaelite collection online for you to peruse. WMSC has taken some trips there in the past - always such a pleasure.

~ Kelmscott Manor is on the shortlist of five museums vying for Most Inspiring Museum or Heritage Visitor Attraction over the last year. This is run by the Guardian and Museum & Heritage Awards. You can vote here for your choice, up until April 11.

~ The William Morris Gallery's occasional Long Table took place last week. The description of the planned dessert was mouth-watering: Rhubarb, Pecan & Buttermilk Pudding with Clotted Cream & Granola Crumble. The next Long Table is June 12... in case you're in London. Book ahead!

~ Tony Pinkney created a "tokens and passwords" quiz on his blog, for those of you keen to test your knowledge on Morris's romances and tales. Let us know how you fared!

The WMSC board met and there will be great future events announced shortly. Keep up to date by following us here, and if you're on Twitter, please follow us at @wmsc_ca.

Sunday 23 March 2014

It's Over, and the Inspiration Lingers

Another great William Morris Birthday Symposium has come and gone. On Saturday, March 22, sixty members came out to University College on the University of Toronto campus and enjoyed an excellently programmed event, all in honour of the man himself, William Morris, on his 180th birthday. Five lecturers - Florence Boos, Veronica Alfano, Letitia Henville, Victor Shea and Christine Bolus-Reichert - made us think, wonder and question. Bill Whitla provided an illustrated treat (regarding The Water of the Wondrous Isles). Congratulations to the WMSC board and the program committee for all their hard work.

And... in exciting news, just before the afternoon session began, members heard from David Lillico on the initial plans for our trip to California next year. I don't think some of us can bear to wait, but we'll have to! The dates are roughly mid-April to early May, 2015. A reminder that WMSC members will get priority to sign up (click on "Become a Member" if you'd like to join us). WMSC trips (which have included Iceland, Britain, France and the U.S.) are always excellent, and always fill up quickly.

And... of course, to end the day in tribute to Morris, Florence Boos gave a lovely toast and cut the cake. This year's offering was based on Strawberry Thief, and the flavour was chocolate. Thanks to member Lera Kotsyuba for tweeting pics of the cake!

For those of you interested in the cake-making process, visit this blog to read about how the cake was made.

Sunday 16 March 2014

The Week in Morris (and More)

It's been a really busy week here at the William Morris Society of Canada. The board is hard at work pulling together the final details for our symposium, and planning future events. Meanwhile, news from across the city and around the world:

~ It's still so very bitterly cold here in Toronto, but this is a warming thought: the Long Table at the William Morris Gallery is a regular happening, which the gallery describes as:

"An alternative dining experience that brings William Morris' ideas of fellowship to life. Enjoy great British food, carefully selected craft beers and excellent company in a communal atmosphere. Say hello, find common ground and tuck in."

~ There's lots of excitement around the excellent John Ruskin exhibit at the National Gallery in Ottawa. Thanks for the heads up, WMSC member Lera Kotsyuba. Who's going?

~ Toronto is busting with great art shows to explore. Here are some.

~ In 1859, the Hogarth Club boasted some intriguing members!

~ One of our favourite bloggers, Kirsty Stonell Walker is giving a talk on Alexa Wilding in May in Bournemouth, in case you're in the area.

~ @WMorrisArtistry is digitizing the Kelmscott Press archives for a forthcoming book!

~ If you feel like adding something very special to your home, check out Project31, an auction of faculty art in support of OCAD students.

~ If you're in Connecticut, the Connecticut Repertory Theater is premiering a puppet stage version of Christina Rossetti's sensual and eerie poem Goblin Market. you can read more here.

~ The quote of the day has to be this one, by Morris: "Last night I dreamed I had to draw a sausage; somehow I had to eat it first, which made me anxious about my digestion."

~ And, from Ayla Lepine (teaches art history at U of Nottingham) of @heartchitecture, here's a Sunday smile: "art historians curating loo graffiti"

We hope to see you at next week's symposium, Saturday, March 22!

Friday 14 March 2014

WMSC Likes its Cake

If the great line up of speakers and topics wasn't enough to get you excited about attending this year's symposium, here's another reason: cake.

Check out our CAKES tab above for a full reportage on WMSC cakes since 2002!

Meet the Speakers: Christine Bolus-Reichert

In preparation for our March 22 symposium, Morris and History: historical transformations in William Morris's poetry, prose and design, meet the last of our five speakers, Christine Bolus-Reichert.

Christine Bolus-Reichert teaches a variety of courses in nineteenth-century British literature and intellectual history. While earning her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Indiana University, she worked for two years as the book review editor of Victorian Studies and currently maintains her relationship with this flagship journal as reviewer and bibliographer. She cares deeply about and writes on issues of aesthetics in everyday life; her articles have appeared in Romanticism, Nineteenth Century Prose, Studies in the Novel, and ELT: English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920. Her book, The Age of Eclecticism: Literature and Culture in Britain, 1815-1885, was published in 2009 by the Ohio State University Press. She is currently writing about the relationship between romance and aestheticism in the 1890s, and the persistence of the forms of Victorian romance in the twentieth century and after.

Christine talk will end the main part of the day, and her topic is Romance and History in The Water of the Wondrous Isles.

Thursday 13 March 2014

Meet the Speakers: Victor Shea

In preparation for our March 22 symposium, Morris and History: historical transformations in William Morris's poetry, prose and design, meet the fourth of our five speakers, Victor Shea.

Victor Shea is an Associate Professor of English and Humanities at York University in Toronto, Canada. He has published in the field of Victorian literature, particularly on imperialism, popular culture, children’s literature, and political history. Specifically he has written on Stevenson, Haggard, Kipling, J. R. Seeley, William Morris, and James A. H. Murray and such topics as adventure fiction, penny dreadfuls, and Victorian philology. With William Whitla he has jointly published three books and several articles, including Essays and Reviews: The 1860 Text and Its Reading (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000. [Victorian Literature and CultureSeries]), Foundations: Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing (Toronto: Prentice-Hall, 2nd ed. 2004, Victorian Literature: An Anthology (Oxford: Wiley/Blackwells, Forthcoming, Spring, 2014).

Victor's talk for the WMSC will be titled The Dealings of Civilization (or organized misery) with ‘Non-civilization’: Anti-Imperialism and Utopian Thought in William Morris’s News from Nowhere.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Meet the Speakers: Letitia Henville

 In preparation for our March 22 symposium, Morris and History: historical transformations in William Morris's poetry, prose and design, meet the third of our five speakers, Letitia Henville.

Letitia Henville is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation, on late-nineteenth-century literary ballads, includes a chapter on Morris’s understudied short verse translations. She has published in Literature Compass and has an article forthcoming in Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (RaVoN).

Letitia's talk, when she appears at the symposium on March 22, is titled Epic Distance, Ballad Proximity: Morris's Icelandic and Old Danish Translations. Can't wait!

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Meet the Speakers: Veronica Alfano

In preparation for our March 22 symposium, Morris and History: historical transformations in William Morris's poetry, prose and design, meet the second of our five speakers, Veronica Alfano.

Veronica Alfano is a Faculty Fellow at the University of Oregon.  Her research interests include Victorian poetry, lyric theory, gender studies, and photography; her articles have appeared in publications such as Feminist Studies in English Literature, Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance, Critical Matrix, and Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature. Currently, she is co-editing an essay collection called Virtual Victorians: Networks, Connections, Technologies and working on a book project titled The Lyric in Victorian Memory, which explores the links between mnemonic form and cultural nostalgia.

Veronica's talk for the WMSC is title Morris's Frozen Rime: History as Incident and Ornament. We are so looking forward to welcoming her to Toronto!

Monday 10 March 2014

Meet the Speakers: Florence Boos

In preparation for our March 22 symposium, Morris and History: historical transformations in William Morris's poetry, prose and design, meet the first of our five speakers, Florence S. Boos.

Florence S. Boos teaches Victorian poetry, nonfiction prose, and cultural studies at Iowa. Her teaching and research interests include poetry by women, working-class literature, Pre-Raphaelite art and literature, the life and work of William Morris, and nineteenth-century social, political and intellectual history, as well as Marxist and feminist approaches to nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature.

The general editor of the Morris Online Edition, she has published critical works on the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris; annotated critical editions of Morris’s The Earthly Paradise, The Socialist Diary, and The Life and Death of Jason; and more than a hundred and fifty articles, essays, introductions, and reviews. Her annotated anthology Working-Class Women Poets of Victorian Britain, a first attempt to identify the scope of these women’s lives and works, appeared in 2008, and her ‘Love and Work Enough’: The Early Writings of William Morris, is forthcoming in 2014. She is currently writing a book on memoirs by Victorian working-class women.

A former president of the Midwest Victorian Studies Association and the William Morris Society in the United States, she also serves on the advisory boards of Victorian Poetry, The Journal of William Morris Studies, The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, Cahiers Victoriens et Edwardiens, and the Archive of Working-Class Literature.

Over the years, she has taught a variety of

~ graduate courses in early and late-Victorian literature, as well as seminars in various fields of potential research, such as the Pre-Raphaelites, Aesthetes and Decadents, and Victorian and Edwardian Women Poets; and

~ undergraduate courses in (e.g.) Victorian Poetry and Fiction, Critical Theory, Literature of the American Midwest; African-American Literature, ‘Green’ Traditions in British and American Literature, and The Literature and Culture of Scotland.

She has also gathered together several generations of graduate students in reading groups to help prepare for their comprehensive examinations in Victorian literature, and has directed more than fifty dissertations. Her former students now teach at a wide range of institutions in several countries.

She has maintained ties with Iowa’s Women’s Studies Program, of which she was a founding member, and has served from time to time on university-wide committees which examined problems of inclusion as well as student and faculty welfare.

Eager to travel, she has participated in several teaching exchanges with the English departments of Háskola Islands (the University of Iceland, in 1984), Københavns Universitet (the University of Copenhagen, in 1989), and the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier (in 1996, 2001, 2005 and 2007). She has always been fond of manuscript research, and whenever possible journeys to England and Scotland to give talks, visit friends, and burrow in archives and repository libraries. With Morris (an agnostic), she never saw a cathedral she didn’t like, and she shares Borges’s conjecture that heaven (if it existed) would be “a kind of library.”

The WMSC is very much looking forward to welcoming Florence on March 22, when she'll present her intriguingly title talk, William Morris's Evolving Views of History.

Sunday 9 March 2014

The Week in Morris (and more)

The Gardiner Museum (@gardinermuseum, left) here in Toronto celebrated its 30th birthday this week by opening its doors for free and hosting a pile of interesting events. This exquisite, boutique museum, dedicated to ceramics, is a must-see for locals and visitors alike.

The Gardiner is also presenting the exhibition, Ron Thom and the Allied Arts. Ron Thom was one of Canada's greatest architects. WMSC members might remember a very fine lecture on his work a few years ago, and a tour of Massey College, which he designed with strong Arts and Crafts influences. The Gardiner's exhibition is open now and runs til April 27.

~ The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) has announced Around 1914: Design in a New Age. From March 29 of this year until March 21, 2015, this original exhibit showcases the ROM’s decorative arts collections including works by Jensen, Tiffany, Lloyd Wright, Bugatti, Knox, Dresser and Hoffmann. There will also be a Decorative Arts Symposium, April 10 and 11, which looks unmissable. Check it out here.

~ Just in case you're in the area of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Motawi Tileworks is conducting a tour on March 29. They'll visit tile installations in and around Ann Arbor including the home of owner Nawal Motawi. Here's a sample of what you'll see!

~ Thank you to WMSC member and tweeter @LeraKotsyuba for pointing us to this exciting bit of news of recently discovered Pre-Raphaelite-inspired artwork.

~ The Guardian reported that in May, Sotheby's will be auctioning Rossetti's painting Pandora, 1871 (for which Jane Morris was the model). It is predicted that it will break previous sales records for a Rossetti work.

~ Our friends at the William Morris Society (U.S.) tweeted that Arts and Crafts Tours is leading a three-day architectural exploration of Chicago. This tour was requested by The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms for their members. WMSC members will remember our own fantastic tour there in 2008. There are some elements that we didn't cover and, anyway, it's never too early to revisit some of these remarkable sites.

~ This week, in celebration of World Book Day (and in preparation for this year's William Morris birthday cake) we tweeted this picture of our Art of the Book cake for our symposium a few years ago. Watch this space for a retrospective of past cakes and a reportage of this year's cake!

Sunday 2 March 2014

Signed up Yet?

Have you signed up for our full-day symposium on March 22? Space is limited... and there'll be lunch and, after the afternoon sesssion, a toast with a very special cake for those attending. More on the cake in a later post, but in the meantime, check out our future events to read why you need to attend this event.

The Week in Morris (and More)

This week we were so excited to read that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is mounting an exhibit, The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design from the Metropolitan's Collection. This runs from May 20 to October 26 of this year.

"Some thirty works from across the Museum's collections - including paintings, drawings, furniture, textiles, prints, and illustrated books, many of them rarely on view and united for the first time - will demonstrate the enduring impact of Pre-Raphaelite ideals as they were adapted by different artists and developed across a range of media. At a time of renewed appreciation for art of the Victorian age, the installation will direct fresh attention toward the Metropolitan's little-known holdings in this important area.
The exhibition is made possible by the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust.

An adjunct exhibit will be William Morris: Textiles and Wallpaper, from February 3 to July 20.

~ As Toronto emerges from another polar vortex, and more snow falls, it's nice to know spring is happening somewhere! Click here for a lovely picture of the daffodils emerging at Red House. And click here to see the front door of Red House, through which visitors are now entering, something they haven't been able to do for ten years!

~ The British Council hosted a "Twitter Tour" of the Jeremy Deller exhibit, English Magic at the William Morris Gallery. You can experience it after the fact, right here.

~ Get a fashion/Morris fix right here, in a delicious video for a past exhibit at the V&A, The Cult of Beauty.

~ And, for an "awww" moment, here's a beautiful red setter, laying on his colour co-ordinated chair.

The image at the top is borrowed from the Met's site: Sir Edward Burne-Jones (British, Birmingham 1833–1898 Fulham). The Love Song, 1868–77. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund, 1947 (47.26)