Tuesday 20 February 2024

Lecture and 190th Morris Birthday


"Where is our William Morris?" - Tracing Global Arts and Crafts
Lecture by Professor Antonia Behan

Sunday March 24th, 2pm EDT.
Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity Street, Toronto, M5A 3C6

African Marigold furnishing fabric, designed by William Morris, 1876

The craftsman, designer, and writer William Morris had a surprising influence on thinkers and makers all over the world who were variously inspired by ideas about the validation of the craftsman and hand work, the value of tradition and vernaculars, and critiques of contemporary Western industrialism and imperialism. But why were so many people around the world inspired by Morris? What did craft practitioners and theorists embrace and what did they critique? How did the principles of Arts and Crafts change over time and in different contexts? And how was Arts and Crafts used by different empires as well as by anti-colonial movements? In this talk, I will explore how Morrissian ideals were appropriated, translated, and reinterpreted by different figures across the globe, from Ireland to India, Japan to Aotearoa New Zealand in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries



Antonia Behan is Assistant Professor of Design History and Material Cultures in a Global World at Queen's University, Canada. Her work focuses on the global legacies of Arts and Crafts (with a particular focus on South Asia), weaving and artisanal knowledge, and the history of materials. Her current book project, The Brain of the Machine: Crafting Design between Britain and South Asia, is a dual study of the English handweaver Ethel Mairet and the Anglo-Ceylonese art historian Ananda Coomaraswamy. Previously, she was a research fellow at Bard Graduate Center for projects including John Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and in London. In addition to her research, she co-hosts Craft History Workshop, a virtual works-in-progress seminar that aims to expand research on histories of making.

Presentation of this year’s birthday cake and a toast celebrating Morris’s 190th birthday will follow the lecture.

The lecture itself will be available via Zoom at no charge for those unable to
attend in person. To access professor Behan’s talk virtually, please sign up at
by 6 pm on Friday, March 22. You will receive a link before the presentation begins.

To take part in the celebrations in person, please register at
by Friday, March 14.

$10 for Society members; $20 for guests. Capacity is limited. To ensure your spot, please register and pay by March 14. Send cheques made out to the William Morris Society of Canada to: 3 Wolfe Court, Thornhill, ON, L4J 6T9, or pay by Paypal below:

Type of Ticket

Monday 12 February 2024

William Morris Patterns in a New York Cottage

 Beautiful interiors from Architectural Digest's feature of Bryce Dallas Howard's New York cottage featuring William Morris prints!

See the full tour in this Architectural Digest YouTube video here.

Friday 9 February 2024

Zoom Lecture: Jane Morris – the Pre-Raphaelite muse


Jane Morris - Pre-Raphaelite Muse
Lecture by John Hawks

On Zoom from the UK at 2 pm EST
Sunday, February 11, 2024

 Portrait of Jane Morris by John Robert Parsons

Jane Morris’s highly individual beauty, a symbol of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, was made famous through her many portraits by her long-time lover, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In the shadow of her illustrious husband William Morris, she has been unfairly neglected by posterity. 
John Hawks, founder of Merton Abbey Mills, director of Wandle Heritage Limited and curator of the Merton Priory Chapter House Museum, looks at the life and contribution of someone who most certainly was ‘not just a pretty face’.