Saturday, 19 September 2020

Ruskin, Roycroft, and the Art & Crafts Conference


The Roycroft Campus, The Ruskin Society of North America, and The Guild of St. George (founded by Ruskin in the 1870s in the UK), have come together to collaborate on an exciting series of virtual talks titled “Ruskin, Roycroft, and the Arts and Crafts Movement” that will be take place on five successive Saturdays this October: October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31.  

Our first two gatherings will feature two internationally known Ruskin specialists: on October 3, Professor Jim Spates will speak on “From Rouen to Roycroft: John Ruskin and the Birth of the Arts and Crafts Movement”; on the following Saturday, Dr. Peter Burman will provide us with a “Scottish Perspective on Ruskin’s Influence on the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United Kingdom.” Subsequent Saturdays will feature a history of how Elbert Hubbard’s vision and energy established the Movement in North America, and illustrated talks by artists-in-residence at The Roycroft Campus, who will speak on the vital importance of drawing, photography, writing, and creative book-making in the modern world.


Sessions will be held using the Zoom platform and all talks will be followed by a Question and Answer session. Registration for the Conference is $50 per person, which covers all five weeks (eight presentations). For more information on the topics and speakers and to register please visit the Roycroft Campus website at: and click on the “Ruskin Roycroft Conference” banner.


For a direct link, click here:

Monday, 14 September 2020

William De Morgan's Tiles


Rob Higgins is the author of several books on William De Morgan and a specialist in Victorian Arts and Crafts Tiles. In this online talk, Rob kindly shares his personal collection of De Morgan tiles with us. He will speak about his current research on De Morgan's Dutch blanks and share some of his rare and unique tiles with us.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

The Summer 2020 WMS-UK Journal is here!

Members, check your emails for the digital issue of the William Morris Society-UK journal!

Monday, 13 July 2020

From the CBC Archives

Quite a find from the CBC Archives, originally broadcast on July 15, 1993.

"Before the age of machines in the 18th and 19th centuries, everything was handmade. But mass production changed all that - something English poet William Morris found dehumanizing. Morris was founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Victorian age. He was best known for the natural themes of his wallpaper, tapestries and vases, which he believed should be handmade by skilled craftspeople. As this CBC documentary explains, Morris brought a socialist philosophy to design."

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Love Is Enough – A William Morris Inspired Wedding Editorial

How many of you are familiar with the timeless and romantic textile designs of William Morris?
Those of you with a penchant for the odd Liberty print probably will be – and if you’re lucky enough, you snapped up one of those limited edition William Morris print H&M dresses last year. This bridal editorial was inspired entirely by the work of William Morris. The designer, My Eden Bridal, had in fact been waiting for the right moment to do such a shoot for a decade, and then, it all happened in an instant.
“Our shoot location was Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’s storied family home in the Cotswolds, which he owned together with the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rosetti.”

“Kelmscott Manor had never before allowed a fashion photoshoot inside the house and we had the absolute honour and privilege to locate our styled wedding reception shoot there. It takes my breath away thinking about the original Rosetti paintings that we were allowed to use as backdrop, and seeing our model’s reflection in the original main staircase mirror, just as Morris and his guests would have done.”

“Flowers were seasonal and British and the arrangements included locally sourced wild strawberries as a nod to the famous ‘Strawberry Thief’ print by William Morris.”
"…And this day draw a veil over all deeds pass’d over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.” - WM
Click here for the full editorial. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Online Radio Program on William Morris

Although from 2018, still a great episode on Morris!
Click the image above to listen.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Happy June

Inspired by the Emery Walker Trust, we have also made a rainbow in celebration of Pride month, and in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Can you name each Morris pattern?

"...what I mean by Socialism is a condition of society in which there should be neither rich nor poor, neither master nor master's man, neither idle nor overworked, neither brain­slack brain workers, nor heart­sick hand workers, in a word, in which all men would be living in equality of condition, and would manage their affairs unwastefully, and with the full consciousness that harm to one would mean harm to all—the realisation at last of the meaning of the word commonwealth."

-Why I Am A Socialist (1884)

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

ONLINE Zoom Lecture April 1, 2020, 7am

Tune in 7:15 am Toronto time (12:15 UK time) WEDNESDAY APRIL 1, for a lecture by William Morris Gallery senior curator Rowan Bain as she discusses her new book William Morris’s Flowers, published by Thames & Hudson in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum.

William Morris’s sensitivity to the natural world combined with his innate talent as a designer enabled him to create patterns with endless combinations of flower forms. His ability to adapt, distort and combine them into harmonious patterns means a field guide to all his flowers remains frustratingly elusive. Yet through a deeper understanding of his early influences, his gardens, understanding of colour, favourite flowers and approach to their uses in his pattern, the visual language of William Morris’s flowers can be better revealed.

Joining instructions:

This is a live talk on Zoom, a video conferencing platform. 
You can join the talk on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) or a computer.
When you purchase a ticket by donation, you will be given a link, which will also be sent to your email address.
Follow this link shortly before the talk. Please allow a few minutes to set up Zoom on your device, if you haven't already.

If you're joining on a computer

When entering a Zoom meeting for the first time from a computer you will need to download a small application file. If you can't download the application, or don't want to, you can also join from your web browser.

If you're joining on a mobile device

If you are joining from a mobile device then you will be prompted to download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app from the App or Play Store.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

POSTPONED: Morris' 186th Birthday Lecture and Party


Join the WMSC THIS FALL for a lecture and birthday celebration (with cake!)

1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON
Munk School of Global Affairs, Campbell Conference Facility
(St George Subway Station)

Author Mark Osbaldeston (Unbuilt Toronto, Unbuilt Toronto 2) explores two centuries of never-realized building and planning proposals for Queen’s Park and the neighbouring University of Toronto campus. Using dozens of images drawn from provincial, municipal, and university archives, Osbaldeston discusses the fascinating origins and fates of Toronto landmarks that might have been.

Mark Osbaldeston is the author of three books on architectural and planning history. His first book, Unbuilt Toronto (2008), was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards and was shortlisted for the inaugural Speaker’s Book Award. Both Unbuilt Toronto and its sequel, Unbuilt Toronto 2 (2012), received an Award of Merit from Heritage Toronto. His most recent book, Unbuilt Hamilton, was published in 2016. It was shortlisted for the Kerry Schooley Award.

Mark has curated exhibitions based on his research for the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Toronto Archives, and the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology.

What will be the cake pattern this year? Stay tuned!

Monday, 2 March 2020

The Art of Kehinde Wiley

Naomi and Her Daughters, 2013.

Best known for his portrait of Barack Obama, the artist’s first solo London show is inspired by a tale of insanity and the women of Dalston

While growing up in South Central Los Angeles in the 1980s, the Nigerian-American artist Kehinde Wiley, 42, discovered the work of the 19th-century British textile designer, writer and social reformer William Morris.
“He’s not so well known in the US,” he says. “But my mom was what you might call a junk dealer. [Her store] wasn’t really an antique store, but it sold second-hand furniture, oftentimes from old estates. So as a kid, I grew up seeing a lot of floral patterns, some Morris-inspired, some actual Morris pieces, among the stuff she was selling. And from very early in my life, there was this ornate sensibility inscribed.”
Over the past decade he’s included literal representations of several familiar Morris designs – HoneysuckleIrisBlackthorn and Granada among them – in his portraits, though in Wiley’s hands the colours can be clashingly vibrant. “And it was only after working with that sort of decorative style that I began to take the DNA of Morris and build upon it to create hybrids of my own, these kind of all-over patterns that feel random and chaotic as opposed to that very rational order you see in traditional Morris prints.”
It’s appropriate, then, that his first solo show in a UK museum, a survey of portraits of women, will be at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, northeast London.

Read the full article here.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Members Only February 19th Tour: Crossing the Line: Political Satire from 1800 to Today

Crossing the Line: Political Satire from 1800 to Today
Wednesday February 19th, 2020. 6:30pm
Art Gallery of Ontario
383 Huron St, Toronto
(St Patrick Subway Station)

Political satire delighted Morris and his circle. Humour can be a powerful weapon to fight hypocrisy and corruption. As political cartoons critique the antics of people in high places, they inspire debate and provoke a range of responses from amusement to outrage. While playful and witty, visual humour can also be biting and cruel.

Our tour will be led by the exhibition’s curator, Brenda Rix, Manager of the AGO’s Print & Drawing Study Centre. She holds a Master of Arts degree in art history from U. of T. Ms Rix has curated numerous exhibitions including Painting with Light, British Watercolours from JMW Turner to Beatrix Potter.

There is limited capacity for this tour, so we will have to restrict participation to 2020 members only, no guests please, and ask you to register with us at this e-mail address indicating how many members are coming. First-come-first-served. We will keep a waiting list once we’ve reached capacity. Please note, Wednesday evening AGO admission is free after 6 pm. There may be a bit of a line up outside to get in.

There is limited room so please keep an eye on your email to confirm your place!

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Textile Museum Tour - Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios

Our first event of 2020 is coming up on January 18 at the Textile Museum. 

Tour of Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios

Location: Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue (Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway)
When:  Saturday, January 18, 11:15 am tour of exhibit 
(Meet at 11 am, when the Museum opens).
Cost:  $12 (Payable to the Museum when you arrive at 11)

Printed Textiles from  Kinngait  Studios  presents the little-known story of a group of Inuit artists and printmakers who produced a collection of graphic textiles in Kinngait, (Cape Dorset, Nunavut) in the 1950s and 60s – a period of social change that disrupted traditional language and relationships to the land. 

Made for interior d├ęcor during a period when artist-designed textiles were popular in North America and Europe, these mid-century designs depict legends, stories, and traditional ways of life. They provide vital points of connection between contemporary Inuit community members and the creativity and resourcefulness of previous generations.