Tuesday, 24 May 2022

GIVEAWAY!


We’re hosting a giveaway!!!


We’ve partnered with August Berg to gift one follower a stunning William Morris Strawberry Thief watch in silver/green!


Head over to our instagram page for full contest details!
@williammorrissocietyofcanada


Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Morris & Co. Garden


It is such a delight to see the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the Morris & Co. garden.

Designed by Ruth Willmott Associates the garden is a modern interpretation of two of William Morris’s most iconic wallpaper designs, Trellis and Willow Boughs, and uses colour and pattern to bring his beautiful interiors into the natural outdoor setting which inspired them.



Incorporating the movement and sound of water into a garden can transform the space, but it’s important to make sure it creates the precise sound and the atmosphere you want to achieve before installing it.

In the Morris & Co. Garden at RHS Chelsea this year, a sequence of water channels will flow though the space inlaid with metal screens that will be laser-cut with Morris’ famous Willow Boughs pattern.


"I have long admired the work of William Morris, so it was a tremendous thrill to create this garden for Morris & Co. and we are all SO delighted to receive a Gold medal!" - Ruth Willmott


"Bringing the garden to life has involved dozens of skilled and dedicated experts each adding a creative layer to the finished garden, and it’s been particularly thrilling to collaborate with so many talented craftspeople this year." - Ruth Willmott




 

Monday, 23 May 2022

Guild Park Gardens Tour

 

Guild Park and Garden Tour


Sunday June 19, 2022, Time: 2:00 PM EDT
Members only event, Members can bring guests.


The tour takes place outside. All participants are welcome and encouraged to wear a mask. 
All participants are invited to respect the choices and distance needed by others in the group.

Please do not come to the walk if you are feeling unwell or answer yes to any of the COVID screening questions outlined by Ontario public health. Those COVID screening questions can be found at 
https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment.

This event allows members to bring a guest for a $10 fee. Please use the link below.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Not Just a Park Film Screening

 

Not Just a Park
A History of Toronto Island - Film screening


May 16, 2022, Time: 7:00 PM EDT
Members only Zoom Event 


Filmmaker Michael Kainer has written, directed and produced four feature documentaries, all with Toronto historical or cultural themes. His latest work, "Not Just a Park: A History of Toronto Island" features a rich store of archival images, including many drawn from the holdings of the Toronto Public Library's Special Collections.


Monday, 9 May 2022

Morris & Co. Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

 

Award-winning garden and landscape designer Ruth Willmott is designing the Morris & Co. Show Garden at RHS Chelsea 2022. Discover more about the planting and layout of the garden in her second Chelsea Flower Show blog excerpts below.

Ruth Willmott in William Morris's garden at Kelmscott Manor

Plants

William Morris had a passion for English hedgerows and an affinity to the natural world, so it’s crucial to me that the garden works with nature. I want the planting to reflect a natural, countryside setting and provide a welcoming environment for wildlife.

Morris was an early advocate of using native species and long-cultivated non-natives to attract birds and bees, which is an approach I use in all of my garden designs. So, I’ll be mixing cottage garden favourites such as iris, peony, dianthus, geranium, foxglove and the soft velvety foliage of Stachys byzantina to achieve blue, purple, earthy red and apricot tones. The garden will also feature shrubs chosen to provide shelter, shade and food for wildlife.

Trees

Look out for weeping, twisted and pollarded varieties of willow in the garden. This choice was inspired by Morris’s famous ‘Willow Boughs’ design, alongside hawthorn foliage that appeared in his ‘Jasmine’ design.

Elsewhere, cotoneaster, Berberis and viburnum will feature, while roses, which were another of Morris’s favourites, will grow in both rambling and climbing varieties. I’m particularly excited about the spectacular ‘winged thorn’ rose (Rosa sericea subsp. omeiensis f. pteracantha), with its translucent red thorns which glow like rubies in the morning and evening light.

'Trellis’ and ‘Willow Boughs’

Layout

Of course, the naturalistic world that inspired Morris was largely to be found in the rural landscape, while our Chelsea Show Garden will be in the heart of London. So, to create the sense of being immersed in a country garden, I’ll use plants in abundance. For me, whether urban or rural, a garden should always have a far greater proportion of soft planting over hard surface. The Morris & Co. Garden, much like all of my projects, will work on a ratio of 3:1 planting to hard landscaping.

Central to the design is a quadrant, inspired by another of Morris’s iconic designs, ‘Trellis’.  This will consist of a series of inter-connecting pathways forming the shape of the garden. It’s this structure that will allow me to manage the volume of plants. All gardens, in fact, benefit from structure underneath soft planting. This allows plants to ramble freely without creating a wholly untamed nature reserve!


Putting everything together

Colour and harmony will be key to the success of the garden so, as the plants slowly begin to emerge, now’s also the time to see how they work together. Most importantly, I’ll be looking at how they blend with other elements in the garden such as the central pavilion, with its laser-cut screens layered with two contrasting colours in the shape of the ‘Willow Boughs’ design.

Everything is looking positive and, with just days to go until we go on site to begin the build, the weather is looking promising too… just as long as the plants don’t peak too soon!

The Morris & Co. Garden can be found on Main Avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 23-28 May 2022.
To find out more about the garden design practice Ruth Willmott Associates, click here.
Read Ruth’s first Chelsea Flower Show blog here.



Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Sourcing & Making Pigments & Paints: Anong Beam

 

Sourcing & Making Pigments & Paints

Art + Craft 

April 28, 2022, Time: 7:30 PM EDT
Members only Zoom Event 


Artist and paint maker Anong Migwans Beam lives and works in her home community of M'Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Raised by artist parents Ann and Carl Beam, she was homeschooled and apprenticed with her father in ceramic, pigment and clay gathering as well as in his painting and photography studio. In addition to the School of Fine Arts in Boston and the Ontario College of Art and Design, she studied at the Institute of American Indian Art.

Anong has also drawn inspiration from the work of William Morris.

In 2018 she founded Beam Paints, makers of plastic free paints and watercolours inspired by her culture and pigment gathering of her youth. 

“With our Indigenous paint tradition, we seek to celebrate the colours of the wide world with the intimacy of the northern forest - and in this fusion create paint that makes you and your paintings feel vibrantly alive."






Friday, 25 March 2022

WMSC 2022 Cake: Flora

 Our cake design this year is 'Flora', an 1891 pattern by William Morris.





The cake is a lemon and lilac honey sponge with a hibiscus-strawberry jelly and orange blossom buttercream. The pattern recalls illuminated medieval manuscripts with floral motifs in bright blues, greens, and reds.



The 'Flora' wallpaper, a pattern featuring a variety of flowers, with undulating green stems with large yellow flowers running vertically; pink, green, blue, yellow and orange on a pale ground. A colour woodblock print on paper.


To watch how it was made, enjoy the video below:







Thursday, 24 March 2022

Happy 188th Birthday William Morris!

 Our friends at the Robertson Davies Library at Massey College have a wonderful video about Morris and the Kelmscott Press!



Today we celebrate 188 years of William Morris. William Morris was one of the most significant figures in the arts and crafts movement, a man of far ranging creativity and knowledge. He loved reading and nature above all else which shows in his designs and artwork.

Monday, 14 March 2022

William Morris' 188th Birthday Celebration

 

William Morris' 188th Birthday Celebration

Arts & Crafts Gardens

March 27, 2022, Time: 3 PM EST
Members only Zoom Event 



WMSC board member Ksenija Klinger will give an illustrated lecture on the history and design of six Arts and Crafts gardens in the UK. Ksenija is a retired architect, urban planner and designer who continues to be passionate about beauty and well executed design.


Afterwards a toast to William Morris, and the unveiling of the 2022 cake!

Friday, 11 February 2022

UK: Online Lecture: A Remarkable Woman: The Art of May Morris

 



FEBRUARY 15, 2022 

18:00 UK time
13:00 Canada (1 pm EST)

Overshadowed for many years by her more famous father, May Morris is now beginning to gain the recognition she deserves as being an incredibly talented craftswoman in her own right. Teacher, lecturer, editor, jeweller and designer, May was accomplished in a wide range of crafts, but it is her work as an embroiderer that is considered to be her greatest achievement. May’s knowledge of needlework, her talent for designing and her brilliance with the needle led to raising the status of embroidery to fine art. This talk will cover May’s life and work, with a focus on her beautiful designs and completed embroideries, demonstrating why May should be regarded as one of the most significant artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Helen Elletson has been Research and Development Curator at the William Morris Society since 2000 and Research Curator at the Emery Walker Trust since 2010. Amongst Helen’s publications are A History of Kelmscott House (2009) and Highlights of the William Morris Society’s Collection (2015), as well as articles on the Arts and Crafts movement including A Feeling for Beauty: May Morris, Emery Walker, and the Arts and Crafts of Hammersmith in Country Life (2017).

This is an online talk, held on Zoom.

Sign up here: https://williammorrissociety.org/event/online-lecture-a-remarkable-woman-the-art-of-may-morris/

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Perspectives on Pre-Raphaelite Art Lectures

 

Part I: Perspectives on Pre-Raphaelite Art


Sunday January 16th, 2022 at 2:00 pm EST
Members only Zoom Event 

John Everett Millais, Ophelia (1851-2)


This lecture is by Dr. John Wolforth, Prof. Emeritus, McGill. This lecture will focus on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the youthful ambitions of its founders.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part II: The Later Pre-Raphaelites


Tuesday February 8th, 2022 at 7:30 pm EST
Members only Zoom Event 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Joan of Arc (1882)

This lecture is by Dr. John Wolforth, Prof. Emeritus, McGill. This talk will look at the later years of the movement.

Couldn't make this lecture?
Some suggested reading:

Fiona MacCarthy, The Last Pre-Raphaelite
The Pre-Raphaelite Collection at UBCAngeli-Dennis Collection




Thursday, 27 January 2022

Toronto's Gargoyles and Grotesques Online Map


Birge-Carnegie Library North-West entrance, University of Toronto
Photo by Lera Kotsyuba


Despite its relatively young age compared to old-world cities, Toronto has managed to build up an architectural landscape boasting some surprising variety. Though the city's built form is becoming dominated by glass towers, earlier periods brought architectural opulence to the skyline in a different form.

A now-dying art, elaborately carved masonry details define some of Toronto's best-known landmarks. It was a common way for grand buildings to distinguish themselves as late as the early 20th century, when modern construction and design principles began to limit the demand for skilled stonemasons.

Their work lives on in buildings — and in some cases, ruins — around the city, much of it either hidden away in the details or faded into obscurity over the passing decades.

But one anonymous architecture enthusiast wants it all to be rediscovered, creating a comprehensive map with roughly 175 entries of the gargoyles and grotesques that adorn early Toronto buildings.

the map's densest concentration of gargoyles and grotesques can be found in the city centre, with isolated pockets further out in neighbourhoods like High Park, The Junction, and The Beaches.

Looking at the map will tell you where to find these carved bits of history, but it won't tell you much about them.

  • Artist Duane Linklater initiated the Don Valley Park Art Program with a striking installation of cast replicas of gargoyles adorning prominent Toronto buildings: Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality 

  • For other information on Toronto grotesques, take a look at Terry Murray's Faces on Places: A Grotesque Tour of Toronto (2007).

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Part I: Perspectives on Pre-Raphaelite Art

 

Part I: Perspectives on Pre-Raphaelite Art


Sunday January 16th, 2022 at 2:00 pm EST
Members only Zoom Event 



John Everett Millais, Ophelia (1851-2)


This lecture is by Dr. John Wolforth, Prof. Emeritus, McGill. This lecture will focus on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the youthful ambitions of its founders.

Friday, 7 January 2022

Karol Kłosowski and His Total Work of Art at the Silent Villa, Zakopane

The current exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, Young Poland. An Arts and Crafts Movement, 1890–1918 is dedicated to one of the most wide-ranging and original periods within Polish art. Characterized by the integration of fine and decorative arts, and a revival of handicrafts, Young Poland was part of the international Arts and Crafts movement originated by John Ruskin, the Pre-Raphaelites and William Morris.


A corner of Kłosowski’s studio with a display of artwork and paper cuttings, Silent Villa. Private collection, by descent from the artist. Photo courtesy of the National Museum, Krakow.