The Flowers of William Morris, The William Morris Gallery, Waltham Forest, England
The William Morris Gallery is the only museum in the world specifically devoted to the life, work and influence of William Morris (1834-1896), the artist, craftsman, writer, socialist and environmental campaigner. It is housed in his former family home, ‘Water House’. William Morris’ design work is known for its major influence in the establishment of the principles of the British Arts and Crafts movement.
Morris and fellow artist, Edward Burne-Jones “admired (the sunflower’s) stature and simplicity-an ornament worthy of heraldry – and gave the sunflower a romantic medieval heritage. … the sunflower became the fashionable flower, transplanted from the back corner of the garden to the center of the stylish drawing room, writes Debra N. Mancoff in her book, “Flora Symbolica Flowers in Pre-Raphaelite Art,” Prestel, 1998.
The Gallery’s collections are of international significance and include examples of all William Morris’s artistic activities as well as an important archive of manuscripts and printed material. As well as work by Morris and his circle, the Gallery has very significant and in some cases unique collections of artifacts and designs by Morris’s followers; the protagonists of the Arts & Crafts Movement, the only major art movement to have originated in Britain. It also houses the Brangwyn Gift (donated by the artist Sir Frank Brangwyn R.A. (1867-1956) of paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture by 19th– and early 20th-century British and Continental artists.