William Morris book update

This year is the 150th anniversary of William Morris signing the tenancy of Kelmscott Manor which makes it appropriate for the V&A to publish a new edition of its William Morris exhibition catalogue.

It is 25 years since the exhibition was staged for the William Morris centenary but interest has only increased with new discoveries and research.

There were two important Thames-side Morris exhibitions in 2019.

In 1878, seven years after moving into Kelmscott Manor, William Morris found a riverside house at Hammermith for his London home which he called Kelmscott House. It was on the left bank like the country house.

Morris, we are told, was delighted that both his residencies were near the Thames. George Bernard Shaw called the London home ‘a magical house’ due to its mix of furnishing.

The book has a wonderful photograph showing the interior of Inglesham Church on the Thames Path near Kelmscott.

Morris took part in the campaign to preserve this church ‘as found’. It is not restored but safeguarded and so retains, even with its box pews, a feeling of reaching back to the pre-Reformation era.

In 1888 Kelmscott also gave its name to the Kelmscott Press at Hammersmith.

2034 will be the bicentenary of William Morris’s birth when maybe the V&A will stage another exhibition featuring new insights.

William Morris edited by Anna Mason (V&A/Thames & Hudson; £50).

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