William Morris Wallpapers
William Morris, speaking at a lecture in 1882, said:
“Whatever you have in your rooms, think first of the walls; for they are that which makes your house and home; and if you don’t make some sacrifice in their favour, you will find that your chambers have a kind of makeshift lodging appearance about them, however rich and handsome your movables may be.”
Morris wallpapers, though designed in England, were historically exported, and used around the world. There are extensive collections in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Today, one of the largest markets for Morris designs is in Japan. The ‘flatness’ of Morris’ florals, and the original wood print-block printing technique, has an affinity with traditional Japanese woodblock prints.
After seeing real Morris interiors – or even photographs of them – one can understand why Morris’ designs have been in continuous production for over 130 years, which speaks to their enduring appeal. His designs were at the forefront of the development of the Arts & Crafts movement in England, and are just as appropriate for today’s restoration or construction of Arts & Crafts style homes in North America.
Further Reading – Two of many superb books available: