Wednesday 8 November 2023

WMSC Holiday Party 2023


WMSC Holiday Party

WMSC Holiday Party Registration - Members and Guests 

Type of Ticket

Friday 3 November 2023

WMSC Event: The Life & Work of J.H. Dearle

The Life & Work of J.H. Dearle
Lecture by Mallory Horrill

On Zoom from the UK at 2 pm EST
Sunday, November 12, 2023

JH Dearle

A talented artist, pivotal to the success of Morris & Co, Dearle is still a neglected figure often lost in the shadow of his mentor Morris. This talk will examine Dearle’s extraordinary 54-year career at Morris & Co, his relationship with Morris and the contribution he made to the development of the English interior in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


 Mallory Horrill serves as Curator of Collections & Exhibitions at the William Morris Society and Senior Curator at Emery Walker’s House, both located in Hammersmith, London. She is Canadian born and moved to London in 2015. Mallory completed two Masters in History and Museum Studies and is currently completing her PhD at University College London, Institute of the Americas. Her research explores the British perception of Canada prior to Confederation.


Design 1896, made 1917–25, Designed by John Henry Dearle

Thursday 2 November 2023

Lecture at the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts

 William Morris Cakes - Laura Bright and Gianna Wichelow share techniques and inspiration for their sweet tribute to the British design legend.

On Sunday, November 5, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST, Laura and Gianna will share techniques and inspiration for their tribute to the British design legend in an illustrated, online presentation to the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts (CSDA).

As members of the WMSC, you’re invited to attend for free. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.  (Remember the clocks “fall back” an hour this weekend.)

Tuesday 12 September 2023

WMSC 2023 AGM and Guest Lecture

WMSC AGM and Lecture

Annual General Meeting and Guest Speaker

Monday, September 18, 2023

Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue, Toronto
and via Zoom

AGM business meeting and election of officers for 2023-2024 at 7:00 pm

Board members seeking re-election:

Susan Pekilis

Richard Bishop
Event Committee

Dale Moore

Patrick Brown

Elaine Parks

Lera Kotsyuba
Website and Social Media


Lecture: Unbuilt Architectural Visions by Mark Osbaldeston

7:45 pm

Drawing on dozens of archival images, Mark Osbaldeston explores never-realized planning, transit, and architectural proposals for Toronto’s downtown core. Why is there a Queen Street ghost station? What was the Mystery Block? What happened to Federal Avenue? Discover the answer to these and other questions in this informative and entertaining talk.
Mark Osbaldeston spoke to the William Morris Society in 2020 on unrealized plans for Queen’s Park and the University of Toronto. He is the author of three books, Unbuilt Toronto, Unbuilt Toronto 2 and Unbuilt Hamilton. He has curated exhibitions based on his research at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto Archives and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Reception to follow.

Friday 8 September 2023

Morris & Co x Williams Sonoma



Friends, the Morris & Co x Williams Sonoma collection is here, and it's available in Canada!

Tableware, bedlinens, all in lovely Morris patterns! Maximalist opulence through an Arts & Crafts aesthetic.


Friday 28 July 2023

WMSC Event: Fall Excursion to Orillia, Ontario, October 14-15, 2023

Dates: October 14-15, 2023

Orillia Opera House

Enjoy a fall weekend in Orillia. It is the birthplace of Group of Seven artist Franklin Carmichael and singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. It was the place where humorist Stephen Leacock chose to build his summer home. From his boyhood days through to his adult years, it was a town beloved by pianist Glenn Gould for its quiet charm.

We will visit the OMAH (Orillia Museum of Art and History) and tour the Arts & Crafts-designed Stephen Leacock House and its grounds on the shores of Lake Couchiching. We will lunch and shop at a local favourite, the Mariposa Market.

Dinner will be reserved for us at Theo's Eatery, a restaurant highly recommended by local residents. On Sunday a local heritage guide will join us on our bus to show us architectural and historical highlights of the town (the Opera House, Tudhope Building, McNab House, Orillia Central School, amongst others) and we will visit a potter's studio in Oro Station on the way home.


* private coach Toronto to Orillia
* admission to OMAH
* tour of Leacock House and Museum
* Saturday dinner at Theo's Eatery
* Sunday lunch/tea
* city tour with a local historical expert
* visit to Brierley Pottery studio
* one night's accommodation and breakfast at the Comfort Inn, Orillia


Departure at 9 a.m.
Saturday, October 14
from the Toronto Reference Library,
789 Yonge Street

Return to the Toronto Reference
Library, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 15


Shared room rate $395 p.p.,
Single rate $445
$50 per person deposit is due by
Monday, August 28, 2023.
The deposit is not refundable after
August 28. The remainder will be
due by Monday, October 2, 2023
Please register at:

Please pay the deposit through PayPal below:


The trip is for members.
Non-members are welcome to join the trip by becoming a WMSC member. New memberships will be extended to the end of 2024 as an added bonus.

Friday 7 July 2023

WMSC Summer 2023 Book Club


Are you interested in joining the WMSC for our summer book club? 

Join us on Zoom! POSTPONED!

Join WMSC member Lera Kotsyuba, reading A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, through the lens of William Morris' 'News From Nowhere', and ideas around a better world!

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Going to Print Like It’s 1899

At a time when books are increasingly downloaded, some University of Toronto graduate students are learning how to create traditional printed volumes – using 19th century letterpresses and a large collection of wood and metal type in the Bibliography Room at Massey College.

Read the full article here.

Sunday 28 May 2023

POSTPONED: Ceramic painting at the Clay Room


William De Morgan lusterware from Wrighwick Manor

Join us for an evening of artistic expression and laughter!

The Clay Room
279 Danforth Avenue, Toronto M4K 1N2

Select from a wide range of ceramic objects and spend a few hours painting your item in the company of fellow Morrisians. We can each bring in food to fuel our creative juices while we paint, or alternatively have a bite to eat beforehand at one of several restaurants in the area. 

The web page shows prices for each object available for you to choose and paint in the do-it-yourself studio’s party room.

Ceramic pieces range in price from $8 to $99 and have a corresponding studio fee. Studio fees which range from $9.50 to $21.50, depending on the size of the piece you paint, include everything we need – paints, brushes, aprons, work area, sponge shapes and letters, stencils, tools for techniques, reference materials, personal assistance, clear glazing and kiln firing.You can also come back to work on your piece as many times as you like over 30 days at no extra charge. Complete costs can range from $18 to $120, depending on what you select. For example, the complete cost of a mug or cereal bowl would be around $27.

After firing in the Clay Room’s kilns, items will be ready for pickup one week later and held for 30 days.

Members only event.
Check your email for the link to sign up!

Wednesday 19 April 2023

WMSC Trip to Hamilton 2023


Members + Guests

Save the date of Saturday, May 13, for a full-day WMSC field trip to Hamilton to check out Radical Stitch, an exhibit of contemporary Indigenous beading at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, with a tour of the exhibit. We’ll also visit the Royal Botanical Gardens

We’ll depart on our private coach at 9 am from the Yonge and Bloor area. The cost of $100 for members or $120 for non-members includes our coach from Toronto, Gallery admission and tour of the exhibit, lunch, and admission to the gardens.


If you're to provide your own transportation to and around Hamilton, cost for members is $70, $85 for guests, which includes Gallery admission and tour of the exhibit, lunch, and admission to the gardens. 

*Please note that transportation between the gallery and gardens is not included in the No Coach price*

Registration form:


Royal Botanical Rock Gardens, Burlington



Wednesday 12 April 2023

Zoom Lecture: The Beauty, Politics, and Practicalities of Plants: William Morris and the Garden


The Beauty, Politics, and Practicalities of Plants: William Morris and the Garden

A lecture by Dr. Sarah Leonard

Monday April 24, 2023, 7PM EDT
Members Only Zoom Lecture

Marie Spartali Stillman, Kelmscott Manor. c. 1904. Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library.

“In this presentation, I will explore the importance of the garden to William Morris’s utopian vision and everyday life. Prolific and unpretentious gardens were essential elements of – and symbols of – Morris’s ideal society, appearing frequently in his political and literary texts. This ideal garden, with its combination of structure and free growth, was also an influence on his famed designs for wallpapers and textiles. And last – but certainly not least – gardens were also very real physical spaces at Red House, Kelmscott House, and Kelmscott Manor. This talk will interweave these strands – political, literary, artistic, and horticultural – in order to give a fuller vision of Morris’s garden ideals. I will also look to the larger history of the Victorian and Edwardian garden in order to contextualize Morris’s work, considering both the trends he reacted against and the like-minded artists and gardeners who shared and perpetuated his views and aesthetics, creating a quintessentially English, Arts and Crafts garden style which has remained highly influential into the twenty-first century.”

Dr. Sarah Mead Leonard studies the art, and design, and landscapes of Victorian Britain. She is particularly interested in human interactions with the natural world, and of course the works of William Morris. Her PhD dissertation, “‘The beauty of the bough-hung banks’: William Morris in the Thames Landscape,” investigated Morris’s complex lifelong relationship with the river and its tributaries. A portion of that research was published in the 2021 British Art Studies article “Printed Ecologies: William Morris and the Rural Thames.” She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Research at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Leonard holds MAs in Historic Landscape Studies from the University of York, UK, and Art History from the University of Delaware, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware. She has held fellowships at institutions including the Huntington Library, New College Oxford, and Dumbarton Oaks, and she is a proud past recipient of the William Morris Society in the United States’s Dunlap Fellowship. She has served on the board of the William Morris Society in the United States since 2019, and currently holds the position of Vice President. She also manages two Twitter- based digital projects about William Morris: @EveryMorris, tweeting about every printed pattern by Morris & Co., and @ScreenMorris, tweeting about uses of Morris & Co. patterns in TV and movie set design.

Saturday 25 March 2023

2023 Cake Reveal: Melsetter


Our pattern this year was designed by May Morris, embroidered alongside Theodosia Middlemore on linen with wool thread. The cake is a carrot cake with cream cheese icing, the birds and flowers rendered in royal icing. Enjoy the video!

Wednesday 1 March 2023

189th Birthday Lecture: “Gardening with silk and gold thread” botanical imagery in the work of the art embroidery designer May Morris

Lecture by Dr. Lynn Hulse 
Saturday, March 25, 2023
 Zoom at 3 pm EDT

*Lecture followed by a presentation of this year's birthday cake and toast

Embroidery design by May Morris (c1900) © National Museums Scotland

The development of the English cottage garden in the hands of the Irish horticulturalist and journalist William Robinson (1838-1935) had a marked effect on the textile arts during the final decades of the nineteenth century. Author of The Wild Garden (1870) and The English Flowered Garden (1883), Robinson rejected the artificiality and formality of High Victorian pattern gardening in favour of naturalised plantings of perennial shrubs and climbers. His revolutionary approach was reflected in the choice of botanical imagery featured in the work of many Arts and Crafts designers, including May Morris (1862-1938), one of the leading exponents of art embroidery. A constant theme in the work of May Morris is her love of English meadow plants and cottage garden flowers.
Throughout her life, she made detailed studies of plant life to familiarise herself ‘with all the possible peculiarities and diversities of such things.’ But like many other writers on art embroidery, she recognised that the designer’s work ‘should merely recall nature, not absolutely copy it’ (Decorative Needlework, 1893). May Morris’s approach to conventional design will be examined through her work for the embroidery department at Morris & Co. and her special commissions and gifts for family and friends.

Dr Lynn Hulse is a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries of London. She is also co-founder of Ornamental Embroidery, which specialises in the teaching and designing of historic hand stitch through workshops in museums, art galleries and historic houses across the UK. Recent exhibitions include The Needle’s Excellency: contemporary raised work at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (April - June 2017) and the Knitting and Stitching Show (2018), and The Needle’s Art: contemporary hand embroidery inspired by an early Tudor pattern book at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (November 2021- January 2022). Lynn has published widely on the development of art embroidery and is the editor of May Morris: Art and Life (2017) and The Needle’s Excellency: English raised embroidery (2018). She is currently completing a book on Lady Victoria Welby and the founding of the Royal School of Needlework.

Twitter: OEStitch

Friday 3 February 2023

Members Only Event: The Sister Arts: Fashioning the Victorian Luxury Book

 The Sister Arts: Fashioning the Victorian Luxury Book

Tuesday February 21st, 2023.
Guided tour of the current exhibition.
In-person event: Members please check your email for the sign-up link!

During the long nineteenth century (1789-1914), technologies proliferated to make books into beautiful objects that combined illustration with verse, uniting the 'sister arts' of painting and poetry. The Sister Arts: Fashioning the Victorian Luxury Book explores the ways that luxury book manufacture came to provide roles for women in the book arts, initiating a sisterhood of illustrators, illuminators, engravers, designers, compositors, and even publishers. The manufacture of these beautiful books provided women with the opportunity to adopt a range of professional roles in the book world.

Alongside masterpieces of the fine press, books made and designed by women are featured throughout the exhibition, including Victorian albums and annuals; publications by Emily Faithfull’s Victoria Press and the Yeats Sisters’ Cuala Press; an illuminated manuscript by Lady Louisa Strange; and books featuring women artists, including Phoebe Anna Traquair, Jessie M. King, Anne Lydia Bond, and HRH Princess Beatrice. Highlights of this exhibition include the 1857 Moxon Tennyson, with Pre Raphaelite wood engravings ; two manuscripts illuminated by Alberto Sangorski; the elephant folio edition of Henry Noel Humphreys’s guide to The Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages (1849); decadent Belles Lettres limited editions; and the Kelmscott Chaucer (1896), widely agreed to be the most beautiful book ever printed in English. Focused on British publications, the scope of the exhibition extends from the beginning of the nineteenth century until the onset of the First World War.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

The Rossettis at Tate Britain

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Paolo and Francesca da Rimini, 1855

A major exhibition devoted to the radical Rossetti generation
April 6 - September 24th, 2023

This exhibition follows the romance and radicalism of the Rossetti generation, through and beyond the Pre-Raphaelite years: Dante Gabriel, Christina and Elizabeth (née Siddal). Visitors will get to experience world-renowned works from their boundary-pushing careers.

The Rossettis’ approach to art, love and lifestyles are considered revolutionary, and this will be thoroughly explored in an immersive show, using spoken poetry, drawings, paintings, photography, design and more.

This is the first retrospective of Dante Gabriel Rossetti at Tate and the largest exhibition of his iconic pictures in two decades.

It will also be the most comprehensive exhibition of Elizabeth Siddal’s work for 30 years, featuring rare surviving watercolours and important drawings.

The Rossettis will take a fresh look at the fascinating myths surrounding the unconventional relationships between Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal, Fanny Cornforth and Jane Morris.

Friday 27 January 2023

At Home with Jane and William Morris – A New Joint Biography


At Home with Jane and William Morris – A New Joint Biography


George Bernard Shaw called her ‘the silentest woman I ever met’.  And Henry James said she was ‘an apparition of fearful and wonderful intensity’. But these famous descriptions do Jane Morris a disservice. As a model for Gabriel Rossetti, she became Queen Guenevere, Pandora or Persephone. But should we accept that these images reflect the reality of Jane’s life and character? With the publication of her letters, edited by Jane Marsh and Frank L Sharp, we can recreate a fully rounded picture of the lives of both Jane and William Morris, their family and their close circle. As we read Jane’s words, we can reconsider the creativity of the women who pioneered the Arts and Crafts movement. Jane was an outstanding embroiderer, and ran the needlework department of Morris and Company for over a decade. She built a network of female friends and colleagues, and hosted poets, anarchists and artists at her homes in Kent, London and Oxfordshire. For the first time, we can see how she and William Morris worked together to develop a radical household. As he said, ‘the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life’.

Wednesday 11 January 2023

Emery Walker's Arts & Crafts Home


The World of Interiors presents Visitors’ Book from Emery Walker’s House at 7 Hammersmith Terrace. Together with William Morris, Emery Walker was a trailblazer of the arts and crafts movement during the 19th and 20th century. Emery Walker’s Georgian terrace overlooks London’s River Thames, and is preserved as a snapshot in time with Walker’s furniture and objects. 

From the drawer containing some of William Morris’ personal items to the hand-embroidered coverlet by William’s daughter, May Morris, the densely-decorated, jewel-toned interiors preserve a vibrant slice of Walker’s milieu. “Emery Walker’s house is a really unique survival of a truly authentic arts and crafts interior,” says Helen Elletson, curator of the William Morris society. Watch the full episode of Visitors’ Book as we explore Emery Walker’s charming and historic house, and view the new collection of wallpapers and fabrics from Morris & Co, which are inspired by the house.

Friday 6 January 2023

Members Only Zoom Lecture: Morris at Merton


Morris at Merton

A lecture from the UK by John Hawks

Sunday January 22, 2023, 12PM EST
Zoom Lecture

"The Pond at Merton Abbey" or "The Pond at William Morris's Works at Merton" by L. L. Pocock, watercolour, now in the Victoria & Albert Museum. William Morris acquired the old silk works at Merton Abbey Mills in June 1881 and relocated the workshops of Morris & Co. to Merton.

In 1881 William Morris moved his weaving, dyeing and stained glass works to picturesque old buildings in Merton, then a village in South London near Wimbledon. The works continued there for another 44 years after his death, finally closing in 1940. They were known as the “Merton Abbey works” because this had once been the historic site of a major priory - which would certainly have appealed to the passionate medievalist in Morris, though more important to him was the water quality of the River Wandle which flows through Merton, a chalk stream ideal for his traditional processes. This period of his life and achievement is described by John Hawks, a trustee of the Wandle Industrial Museum and Merton Priory Trust.