Other Designers who worked for Morris & Co.
Although William Morris himself was responsible for many of the firm’s wallpaper and fabric designs, other talented designers also worked for Morris and Co. They included the following people:
J. H. Dearle
J.H. Dearle (1859-1932)
Dearle was a prolific designer of wallpapers and fabrics for Morris & Co. He began as an assistant in the glass studio in 1873 and was responsible for many of the wallpaper designs in the 1890’s and later. He collaborated with Morris on tapestry designs, and became artistic director of the firm after Morris’ death in 1896. His designs included Golden Lily, Compton and Sweetbriar.
May Morris (1862-1938)
May was Morris’ youngest daughter. She designed textiles and wallpapers for Morris & Co. and produced embroidery commissions for the firm. She also managed the firm’s embroidery workshop from 1885 and was responsible for embroidering the inscription on The Woodpecker tapestry. She lectured in England and the United States in 1910, and was a founder of the Women’s Guild of Arts. After her father’s death she edited 24 volumes of his writing. Her best-known wallpaper design was Honeysuckle, which was first produced in 1883.
Philip Webb (1831-1915)
Webb, one of Morris’ great friends, was an architect whose first independent commission was to design Red House for William Morris in 1859. Webb also designed much of the furniture for the house, and later was responsible for much of the furniture design for Morris & Co. One of his last commissions was the great 1893 Arts & Crafts house “Standen” near East Grinstead in Sussex, which was furnished throughout with Morris wallpapers, fabrics and carpets. He famously designed the birds in the Trellis wallpaper design, while Morris did the rest of the design.
Both Red House and Standen are now preserved by the National Trust and open to visit.
William De Morgan
William De Morgan (1839-1917)
Probably best known as one of England’s best pottery and tile designers, De Morgan started working for Morris & Co. in the early years, when he also designed stained glass. Many of his richly coloured tile designs were based on Persian designs. His pottery was responsible for reviving the taste for lustre decoration. In later life he became a novelist of distinction.
Sir Edward Burne-Jones
Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
A life-long friend of William Morris, Burne-Jones is best known for his paintings, but also collaborated with Morris on the design of tapestries, stained glass and on the decoration of furniture and interiors. Burne-Jones was one of seven founding members of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. in 1861. His last joint venture with Morris was the Kelmscott Press.