“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”*

by chuckofish

Today is the birthday of William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) who was an English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and social activist. Closely associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, he was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production.

William Morris by Sir William Blake Richmond

William Morris by Sir William Blake Richmond

Among many things, he is famous for his stained glass designs,

David's Charge to Solomon by Burne-Jones and Morris, Trinity Church, Boston

David’s Charge to Solomon by Burne-Jones and Morris, Trinity Church, Boston

book illustration and calligraphy,

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politics,

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and his wallpaper and fabric designs. Of course, our favorite is the lovely “Compton” design:

compton wallpaper

“With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.”

(William Morris, The Well at the World’s End, Vol. I)

*John Ruskin said this, although it is often attributed to William Morris. It is good advice.

african-marigold-design-william-morris