An exhibition devoted to Walthamstow’s William Morris and his influence on 20th Century life is set to open at the National Portrait Gallery.
Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, 1860-1890 will focus on Morris’ far-reaching politics, thought and design.
With portraits, furniture, books, banners, textiles and jewellery, this exhibition will include many extraordinary loans, brought together in London for the first time.
Starting with late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, the exhibition will explore the ‘art for the people’ movement initiated by William Morris and the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Works of Arts and Crafts practitioners inspired by Morris and simple life philosophers such as Edward Carpenter and Eric Gill, show how Morris’s radical ideals developed through to the Garden City movement and from the Festival of Britain to young post-war designers such as Terence Conran who took up Morris’s original campaign for making good design available to everyone.
Key exhibits include William Morris’s own handwritten Socialist Diary from the British Library, his gold-tooled handbound copy of Karl Marx’s Le Capital, lent from the Wormsley Library and Burne-Jones’ spectacular handpainted Prioresses Tale wardrobe coming from the Ashmolean in Oxford.
Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy opens at the National Portrait Gallery, London, on October 16. Details: npg.org.uk