Monday 13 December 2021

Three Strawberry Thief Cocktails/Mocktails



3 medium strawberries

1-2 tsp (4-8 g) sugar

6 fresh mint leaves, torn, plus more for garnish

1.5 oz (43 ml) Bourbon* 
*Replace with pomegranate juice for a mocktail*

1/2 oz Grenadine

1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp dark balsamic (or 2 dashes of Angostura bitters)



In a rocks glass muddle the strawberries and sugar together, fill the glass with ice (or use whole frozen strawberries).

In a large cocktail shaker, add the torn mint leaves, bourbon, grenadine, lemon juice and balsamic.  Fill the shaker with ice.  Shake well and strain into the glass.  Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.  Enjoy!


2. STrAWBERRY Holiday Mulled Wine


1 bottle of red wine*, recommended Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
*Replace with non alcoholic wine or fruit juice of choice for a non-alcoholic alternative*

2 cups of pure apple cider

1/4 cup of pure maple syrup OR honey
*Omit if using a sweetened juice for a non-alcoholic alternative*

3 whole cloves

Peel of 2 small oranges or 1 large one

Handful of orange slices (for garnish)

2 cinnamon sticks

1 star anise pod

1/4 cup of brandy

1 cup of sliced frozen strawberries


Combine all ingredients into a stockpot set over medium heat, do not boil or the alcohol in the wine will evaporate completely. 

Bring to a low simmer and heat for about 20 mins while stirring often. Lower the heat and allow it to cool slightly before loading it into mugs or heat-proof glasses.

Garnish it with a cinnamon stick, additional orange slices and some more frozen strawberries before serving.


3. sparkling STRAWBERRY THIEF 


1 bottle of Champagne*
*Replace with ginger ale or sparkling beverage of choice for a non-alcoholic alternative*

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen

2 Tbsp sugar

juice of 1 lime or 1/4 cup passionfruit juice

2-4 strawberries for garnish


If you're using frozen strawberries, defrost them. Mash or macerate the strawberries with the sugar. Add the lime/passionfruit juice to the puree.

Place 1-2 tablespoons of the puree at the bottom of your glass and top with Champagne or sparkling beverage of choice. Garnish with strawberries, whole or sliced.

Monday 6 December 2021

WMSC Zoom Holiday Cocktail Hour


WMSC Zoom Holiday Cocktail Hour!

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the WMSC!

Wednesday December 15th, 2021 at 5:30 - 6:30 pm EST
Members only Zoom Event 

Have a "Strawberry Thief" recipe to share?

We’ll walk down memory lane to look at the early days of the WMSC, and the great WMSC trips over the years. We will also have some small group breakout rooms for chats, which people enjoyed last year.

You’re encouraged to wear your Morris/Liberty finery, or whatever else makes you feel special. 

As it’s a cocktail hour, we ask you “what would Morris drink”? If people have some ideas for creative cocktails, please email us beforehand and we'll share them with the group. We’ve already had the suggestion of “Strawberry Thief”, recipe still to be determined.

We’ll have a toast, so be prepared with something you’d like to sip on, whether it’s a cocktail, glass of wine or cuppa tea.

Tuesday 2 November 2021

The Dragon and the Smith: William Morris, JRR Tolkien and the Legend of Sigurd the Volsung


The Dragon and the Smith:
William Morris, JRR Tolkien and the Legend of Sigurd the Volsung

An illustrated lecture by Dustin Geeraert, U. of Manitoba

Monday, November 15th, 2021 at 7:30 pm EST
Zoom Event 

William Morris, Kelmscott Press. "Sigurd the Volsung".

In the 1860s William Morris and the London-based Icelander Eiríkur Magnússon began translating Icelandic sagas into English. They soon published the first ever translation of Völsunga saga, as The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, with Certain Songs from the Elder Edda, in 1870. This archetypal Norse dragon-slayer dragon-slayer legend inspired a range of later poems, prose tales, and articles by William Morris and by his successor in Norse-inspired medievalism, J. R. R. Tolkien. Both medievalists immersed themselves deeply in the Norse legacy of Eddas and Sagas, and in response cultivated a Romantic philosophy of craftsmanship. In their various versions of the Volsung legend two figures stood in stark contrast in the roles of creator and destroyer: the Dragon and the Smith.

Dustin Geeraert teaches literature in the English and Icelandic departments at the University of Manitoba. He is editor of ‘The Modern Reception of the Medieval Saga of the Sworn Brothers’ (Scandinavian-Canadian Studies 26, 2019) and The Shadow Over Portage and Main: Weird Fictions (2016, with Keith Cadieux), and has published articles in Journal of the William Morris Society (2012), The Lovecraft Annual (2014), Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (2018), and From Iceland to the Americas: Vinland and Historical Imagination (2020).

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Young Poland: An Arts and Crafts Movement (1890 – 1918)


Young Poland:
An Arts and Crafts Movement 
(1890 – 1918)

October 9 2021 – 30 January 2022
William Morris Gallery, London

Curated by Julia Griffin, Andrzej Szczerski and Roisin Inglesby

For those that can't make it to see the exhibition in person, see the website here for more Polish Arts & Crafts:


Thursday 30 September 2021

Lecture: Young Poland: The Polish Arts and Crafts Movement

 Young Poland: The Polish Arts and Crafts Movement
An illustrated lecture by Julia Griffin

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021 at 2:00 pm EST
Zoom Event open to all!
*Please note only WMSC members will receive a link to the AGM

Karol Kłosowski, At Bobbin Lacemaking (Legend), undated. Private Collection. By Descent from the Artist

The Young Poland movement emerged in the 1890s in response to Poland’s non-existence for almost a century. From the end of the 18th-century Poland underwent successive partitions dividing the country between Russia, Austria and Prussia, resulting in the country disappearing from the map of Europe for 123 years. In the words of historian Norman Davies, Poland became “just an idea – a memory from the past or a hope for the future”. With the failure of military uprisings, culture became a means to preserve an endangered national identity.

The movement originated under the more liberal Austrian partition known as Galicia, namely in Kraków and the nearby village of Zakopane at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, and soon spread across the nation. It embraced an unprecedented flourishing of applied arts and the revival of crafts, drawing inspiration from nature, history, peasant traditions and craftsmanship to convey patriotic values. While the diverse visual language of Young Poland was created autonomously, in search of a distinctive cultural style and identity, it simultaneously looked outwards to Britain and the rest of Europe.

The first part of the October 3rd lecture will chart the artistic achievements of Stanislaw Wyspianski (1869–1907), arguably the greatest design reformer in Poland’s history, who was William Morris’s closest counterpart. The two artists came from different generations and never met. However, they had a lot in common in terms of their reformist outlook, remarkable creative versatility as applied arts designers and interior decorators, shared interests, commitment to similar causes, and last but not least their character traits and work ethic. As J.W. Mackail, the author of Morris’s first official biography The Life (1899), perceptively stated, Morris’s two greatest inspirations were history and nature; the same was true for Wyspianski. In fact, Wyspianski’s ‘intention was to play the same role in Poland as Morris did in England.’

The second part of the lecture will illuminate Karol Klosowski (1882–1971), a Polish Arts and Crafts designer with a Morrisean genius for ornament. Klosowski’s charming repeating patterns of animals, birds, insects and plants were his means of practising cultural democracy. He stated: ‘pragmatism only serves the sustenance of a vegetative form of human existence. It is beauty which gives life fullness, dignity and worth.’ Unlike Wyspianski, who lived in the city of Kraków, Klosowski chose to settle down in the village of Zakopane, at Silent Villa, where he led the sort of quiet rural existence that Morris longed for but could never experience at Kelmscott due to pressing duties in London.

Julia Griffin is academic co-editor of 'Young Poland: The Polish Arts and Crafts Movement, 1890–1918' and co-curator, with Andrzej Szczerski and Roisin Inglesby, of the exhibition of the same name at the William Morris Gallery (9 October 2021 to 30 January 2022). Julia is a Courtauld-trained art historian specialising in British art, design and cultural history. Her PhD explores Rossetti, Morris and the cultural place-making of Kelmscott Manor. Previous roles include Principal Curator of Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, Collections Manager of the Society of Antiquaries and Assistant Curator of Watts Gallery.

Thursday 23 September 2021

Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement opens in St Petersburg, Florida.

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement opened to the public Sept. 7, 2021.

Founded by collector Rudy Ciccarello, more than 800 works collected personally by Ciccarello are showcased, culled in part from the Two Red Roses Foundation.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

People Tree and V&A Morris-inspired collaboration


The latest collaboration with the Victoria & Albert museum celebrates the beauty of prints and patterns that so inspired designers such as William Morris. 

Based on a pretty wallpaper from 1896 by John Henry Dearle, this pattern is reminiscent of many of Morris & Co.'s early designs with its simple meadow flowers and structure of climbing foliage.

See the recent collection here:

People Tree is a Fair Trade clothing company. In the spirit of Morris' socialist and environmental concerns, this brand champions craftspeople and holds itself to a high ethical standard. From their website:

Our Mission:
To support producer partners' efforts towards economic independence and control over their environment and to challenge the power structures that undermine their rights to a livelihood. 

To protect the environment and use natural resources suitably throughout our trading and to promote environmentally responsible initiatives to create new models to promote sustainability. 

To supply customers with good quality products, with friendly and efficient service and build awareness to empower customers and producers to participate in Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable solutions. 

To provide a supportive environment to all stakeholders and promote dialogue and understanding between them. 

To set an example to business and government of a Fair Trade model of business based on partnership, people-centered values and sustainability.  

Monday 12 July 2021

"The Whole Scheme of the Book:" William Morris and the Kelmscott Press from McMaster University


Established in 1891, the Kelmscott Press was the last great project of William Morris. Conceived as a deliberate return to the technologies and processes of an earlier era of printing, the Press brought together an astonishingly gifted community of artists and artisans in a self-conscious attempt to produce "the ideal book." Its output — 53 books in total, each in a limited print run — represents a high point of aesthetic and philosophical attainment for the Arts and Crafts movement. The work of the Press went on to have a profound influence on both printing and the decorative arts, and its founding is traditionally considered the starting point for the small and fine press movement. McMaster University Library is fortunate to hold several volumes from the Press — including a sumptuous copy of its masterpiece, the Kelmscott Chaucer. 

Join Myron Groover (McMaster's Archives and Rare Books Librarian) for an exploration of the Kelmscott Press, its historical and aesthetic context, and McMaster's own collection of Kelmscott editions. 

Further Reading: 
- Norman Kelvin, Ed. The Collected Letters of William Morris. (Princeton, 1996.) 
- Elizabeth Carolyn Miller. Slow Print: Literary Radicalism and Late Victorian Print Culture. (Stanford, 2013.) 
- Paul Thompson. The Work of William Morris. (Oxford, 1991.) 
- The William Morris Internet Archive (courtesy of Marxists Internet Archive) - The Kelmscott Press Bibliography at the University of Iowa

Saturday 26 June 2021

Happy Kelmscott Day!


The Kelmscott Chaucer is the most memorable and beautiful edition of the complete works by the English poet. An outstanding achievement in typography, the Golden typeface was especially designed for this book. With 87 full-page illustrations by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and the borders and decorations and initials drawn by William Morris himself.

Friday 28 May 2021

London Churches: After the Fire and After the Blitz

London Churches: After the Fire and After the Blitz
June 16th, 7:30 pm EST
Members Only Zoom Event

Second World War bomb damage to St Stephen’s Walbrook, a church built in the 1670s to replace one lost in the Great Fire of 1666.
Dennis Flanders, 1941, Imperial War Museum.

The Great Fire in the 1660s destroyed St Paul’s Cathedral and 86 of London’s 106 parish churches. Many of them – mostly dating to the Mediaeval era – were rebuilt in the Baroque and Neoclassical styles to reflect the tastes and theological values of the 17th and early 18th centuries. Over 200 years later, in the 1940s, a large number of these structures fell victim to German bombing during the Blitz. Some of them were restored or rebuilt in the aftermath of the Second World War; others were not but had their sites converted to other uses.
In this illustrated lecture, we will examine how people responded to those terrible disasters during two very different time periods, consider the different meanings of the various approaches people might take when faced with the loss of important buildings, and explore the significance of their choices in the realm of heritage preservation.

Dr. Carl Benn is a History professor at Ryerson University, where he has worked since 2008. Before that he served in the museum field for 34 years, latterly as Chief Curator of the City of Toronto’s Museums and Heritage Services, where he fulfilled senior curatorial and managerial duties, restored historical properties, curated exhibits, and produced other public resources. Carl has published extensively, and his books include: Historic Fort York (1993); The Iroquois in the War of 1812 (1998); The War of 1812 (2002); Mohawks on the Nile (2009); Native Memoirs from the War of 1812: Black Hawk and William Apess (2014); and A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812: John Norton –Teyoninhokarawen (2019). Currently he is researching the history of the Royal Ontario Museum for his next book. His teaching at Ryerson centres on Museum History, Curatorship, Heritage Management, Material Culture, and Archaeology.

Sunday 23 May 2021

Poetry and Cake Lecture by the WMSC 2021

Dear Friends, if you were not able to join us, or would like to listen again, we have uploaded our Morris Birthday lecture from earlier this year onto YouTube.

We have two videos: the first is poetry read by Gianna:

The second for the history of the WMSC cakes (2002-2021), as told by cake team of Gianna, Laura (and James), and Lera:

Sunday 2 May 2021

A view of Morris’s study


A view of Morris’s study, shortly after his death, by Edmund H. New. (Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library.)

“Friends of Mr. Morris will always regret that no catalogue of his complete library was ever issued, as it would have illustrated, in a remarkable manner, the real genius in selection which enabled him, in a very short space of time, to bring together so many specimens of first-rate importance” (The Guardian, 14 December 1898, p. 26).

William Morris (1834–1896) was a voracious reader from an early age, but it was only in his later years that he became a determined book-collector, and all the evidence suggests that he then began to acquire books and manuscripts on a large scale primarily because of his interest in the history of book illustration and typography. Hence when he founded the Kelmscott Press in 1891, his fascination with printing led him on to increasingly ambitious purchases for his library, especially of medieval books and manuscripts. Nevertheless, he also owned a very substantial collection of nineteenth-century books—we have identified more than a thousand so far—and this point is worth emphasizing, because most published remarks on Morris’s library, including those of Morris himself and Sydney Cockerell, give the misleading impression that his bookshelves held little else but incunables.

This website represents an attempt to reconstruct the personal library of one of the most influential figures of the Victorian era. Drawing upon a large number of sources, we are creating a short-title list of all the books and manuscripts Morris is known to have had in his collection. We are also including information about provenance, snippets from the Sotheby sale catalogue of Morris’s library (December 1898), buyers and prices of the lots in that auction, and links to digital copies of the titles. (We are aware, by the way, that some of those links, especially to Google Books, are not functional outside the United States because of copyright restrictions, but we hope that may change in the future.) Likewise, we are making use of the three manuscript catalogues of Morris’s books compiled during his lifetime (see Abbreviations under “MS catalogues”). At a later stage, we want to add more information about individual entries, such as allusions to them in Morris’s writings and correspondence.

The story of how Morris’s collection was dispersed after his death is complex and can only be briefly summarized here. Though some of his books remained within the family, his executors, Sydney Cockerell and F. S. Ellis, arranged for a private sale of the rest of the library to Richard Bennett, a Manchester collector, who quickly disposed of a large number of items that were subsequently offered at auction by Sotheby’s (London) in December 1898. Because Henry Wellcome was the most active buyer at that sale, the Wellcome Library in London today has one of the two largest collections of titles from Morris’s library, but of course the remainder of the lots in the 1898 auction are now widely scattered. The other substantial body of material once owned by Morris is at the Morgan Library in New York, since in 1902 J. Pierpont Morgan acquired the second part of Bennett’s collection. Unfortunately the Wellcome Library sold hundreds of Morris’s books during the 1930s and 1940s, and even the Morgan has deaccessioned a few titles that were treated as duplicates.

We have also decided, after some hesitation, to include books that were owned by Morris’s wife and daughters before his death, on the assumption that these books were all at one time under the roofs of Kelmscott House and Kelmscott Manor, and were no doubt in some instances mingled with Morris’s modern books. (Following the same principle, we are recording Morris’s personal copies of Kelmscott Press books that were published during his lifetime.) Similarly, we are listing books given by Morris to others, except for copies of his own works and Kelmscott Press titles. In a few instances, we know that these books came directly from his own bookshelves as duplicate copies, and the books he presented to others often tell us something about Morris’s literary tastes and preferences.

We are of course recording medieval and Renaissance manuscripts owned by Morris, though we have excluded his calligraphic exercises and drafts of his own writings. For manuscripts later acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan, we are making use of additional information found in Sydney Cockerell’s marginalia in his copy of the Morgan Catalogue (see Abbreviations) now at the Lilly Library, Indiana University; we are also providing the first two paragraphs of each manuscript description in the Morgan Catalogue.

In order to give a better sense of how much Morris is likely to have paid for his early books and manuscripts, we are gradually adding details from the Ellis valuation (see Abbreviations) compiled after Morris’s death.

Obviously this site continues to be a work in progress. We welcome suggestions, corrections, and especially new information; we are diligently searching in all the known sources, but we urge readers to tell us about books and manuscripts once in Morris’s possession that we may have overlooked.

We should add that we maintain another website devoted to the Kelmscott Chaucer.

William S. Peterson ( & Sylvia Holton Peterson (

Friday 30 April 2021

William Morris and arsenic

A resource to give Morris enthusiasts some material to use to counteract the ongoing and pernicious 'urban myth' that Morris poisoned his customers with arsenic from his wallpapers.

Morris's Pimpernel wallpaper design, registered 1876.

Read onward here.

Sunday 4 April 2021

Happy Egg Painting!

 Some lovely painted eggs inspired by 'Golden Lily', an 1870 pattern by William Morris and John Henry Dearle.

Sunday 21 March 2021

Happy 187th Birthday William Morris


Our cake pattern this year was 'Sweet Briar' by J.H. Dearle.

The cake is a lemon sponge, with homemade strawberry compote filling and lemon buttercream, decorated with buttercream flowers, leaves, and vines. 

Watch at 2:39 for a surprise!

Friday 19 March 2021

WMSC Morris Birthday Event!

Just a reminder about the Members only upcoming celebration of William Morris' 187th Birthday, with poetry, a cake team mini-presentation, and the unveiling of the 2021 cake design!

March 21st, 2021 at 2pm EST.

A selection of cakes from 2002-2019

Any guesses for this year's pattern?

Not yet a member? Join the WMSC and attend the celebration!

Sunday 14 March 2021

Red House Virtual Tour

 For everyone that has been missing Red House this past year, take a look at the tour below!

Gardens, murals, textiles! 

Friday 5 March 2021

Morris Inspired Home

Take a stroll through this house, inspired by William Morris (and featuring many a wallpaper and textile!)

A Victorian semi-detached villa, built in the early 1850s by the side of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. Jane and Julian Souter live here with their cat Ginger.

Sunday 31 January 2021

Louis C. Tiffany: A Fascination with Glass

February 21st, 2pm EST

Members Only Zoom Lecture
Not yet a member? Sign up here

As a young artist, L.C. Tiffany (1848-1933) was stimulated by the intermingling of the different art movements in his day: the Aesthetic Movement, the Arts and Crafts, and Art Nouveau. Each movement focused on the value of the decorative arts and the wish to integrate decorative art with the fine arts in architectural interiors. This conference would examine how Louis Comfort Tiffany altered his career from his desire to be an artist of easel paintings to developing a world-famous studio of leaded-glass windows, vases and lamps. His success grew from his admiration for the glass medium and from inspiring his artisans to bring out the unforeseen effects of colour, texture, and form in the molten glass.

The talk will be illustrated by works from American Tiffany collections and from the Tiffany Studios largest and most important Canadian commission in the former Erskine & American Church Montreal (now the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie Concert Hall). 

Recently retired as Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, and former Curator of Canadian Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Rosalind Pepall was responsible for a wide range of exhibitions and publications, among them: Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco (2003-2004), in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y. and the Muséedes Anneés 30, Paris; the Canadian travelling exhibition, Edwin Holgate, Canadian Painter (2005-2007), and Tiffany Glass: Colour and Light (2009-2010), presented in Paris, Montreal, and Richmond, Virginia.

In 2012 she co-edited a book on Decorative Arts and Design: The Collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In her recent book, Talking to a Portrait: Tales of an Art Curator, (Véhicule Press, Montreal, 2020), Ms. Pepall relates stories about art works – whether an oil portrait, a wilderness explorer’s sketchbook or a Tiffany lamp and how she fell under their spell.

Sunday 24 January 2021

Lecture by E P Thompson on William Blake's poem 'London'

Recommended by John P. Murphy during his lecture on William Blake, William Morris, and the British New Left, here is the video of a Lecture by E P Thompson on William Blake's poem 'London'. Directed by Trevor Griffiths broadcast on BBC1 25 June 1970.

Monday 18 January 2021

William Blake, William Morris, and the British New Left

Join the WMSC for a virtual lecture presented by John P. Murphy from our Emerging Scholar SeriesJanuary 24th, 2pm EST.

In the annals of English art and literature, William Blake and William Morris stand in sharp relief as figures of promethean energy: poets, artists, engravers, and utopian visionaries. In the 1950s they became vital resources for the British New Left as it confronted the twin specters of western capitalism and eastern communism. New Leftists, having broken ranks with Stalinist orthodoxy, turned to Blake and Morris for fresh models of cultural and political engagement.