London Life Places

william morris gallery

November 15, 2012

I only discovered the william morris gallery a few years ago. Once i did, i revisited from time to time. Delighted they had a £5 million redevelopment, i couldn’t wait to explore the new transformed gallery, which completed in august this year.

The william morris gallery is home to an internationally significant collection which reflects all aspects of the life and work of william morris, the revolutionary victorian designer, craftsman, writer and campaigner.

Shall we take a look?

Coming through the gates you approach this beautiful and imposing grade II listed building, morris’s family home from 1848-1856.

The new displays tell morris’s story, beginning with his early days in walthamstow, right through the success of his design business morris & co, as well as his campaigns for social equality and the environment.

The gallery has something to inspire everyone, from original wallpaper designs to stunning stained glass windows. You’ll find elaborately illustrated books and the satchel morris used to distribute socialist pamphlets.

Throughout the gallery you’ll encounter little corners with educational toys to occupy the little people. I found myself wanting to join in, but feared for uncomfortable stares from parents:)

Not only is the design contemporary and stunning. the attention to detail is inspiring.

One of my favourite parts of the new gallery are all the interactive activities. Here below visitors are encouraged to pin their views on a cause they’ll like to fight for in this day and age.

I loved this room. Here the displays are complimented by hands-on interactive exhibits and suitable for all ages.

This is where you can design and create your own repeated pattern, based on morris’s own design from nature. On the left of this photo there is a mirror. You are meant to choose the stencil shapes, place them at the edge of the paper and make sure they line up and join with their repeats in the mirror. Great, no?

Below you are encouraged to scale up a tapestry design. The black view finder is there to help you to select a detail. You choose the details and copy and scale until you have enlarged all of it.

Weaving with ribbons.

I wasn’t going to spoil things for you by photographing individual pieces but i just LOVED this!

The new extension now houses a wonderful tea room, with stunning views and an outdoor terrace overlooking lloyd park.

For those of you are not familiar with this fun light, let me introduce you to the campari pendant light by ingo maurer. I always enjoy seeing it in interiors and here it looked just fab.

The toilets were another highlight. What a great idea to use morris’s designs on the doors. LOVE the colours and patterns.

I know that the gallery is a little off the beaten track, but i urge you guys to go and take a look. Bring the kids, make an afternoon out of it and be enthralled by the works of one of the foremost creative artists and original thinkers of the 19th century.

I leave you with one of my favourite quotations:

Have a great weekend. See you monday!

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  • Reply Jennifer | The Make Lounge November 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Wow, who knew it was so gorgeous!

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      You know when I first went I was a little disappointed. Afterall, this is William Morris. It was dark, a bit boring and no tea room etc. Now, they can compete with galleries in central london…I always say it. Good design is everything!!!. Hope you get time to visit. x

  • Reply geraldine November 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    What an amazing tour Tina. My daughter has recently been studying William Morris and has been doing some of her own design work. This would be a perfect weekend visit for us – educational and fun. Thanks Tina, I didn’t even know this place existed 🙂 x

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Wow! That would be perfect for her. There were lots of children there and it’s so interactive that she’ll have lots of fun.

      Let me know when you go…. maybe I zoom up by Vespa to say hello to the sprogs:) x

  • Reply Theresa November 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    This place looks fantastic! Gosh, I love every bit of it from the typography to the beautiful patterns, and the cafe. Museums always have the best cafes, don’t they? I really love that quote, too. I pinned it as a wonderful reminder to myself. Thanks, Tina!

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Oh T, shall we meet there for coffee?? That would be sooooo cool, right??

      I know, I love that quite too. Glad you enjoyed!

  • Reply Kelly November 16, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Looks like a fabulous museum. I’s great that they are engaging the younger visitors with so many activities, I can’t blame you for wanting to have a go, I would be itching to get involved too! You will have to borrow a child for the day next time 🙂

    The toilet doors are inspired, a great way use the Morris patterns in a contemporary way.

    I love museums like this and will be visiting soon, thanks for sharing.

    Kelly x

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Haha. Rent a child!!!! It is perfect if you’re an aunt and stuck for what to do. It’s fun, educational and beautiful!

      Yes, go if you can. Bit of a schlepp but worth it!! xx

  • Reply Ingrid November 16, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Tina, I love that quotation too- and think of it often. Have been seeing William Morris prints afresh lately- maybe it’s something in the air…
    x i

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      When I moved into my current home I had that quote as my mantra. Nothing came with me that I didn’t love… x

  • Reply parisbreakfast November 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

    WONDERFUL! definitely a must-do!
    now where is walthamstow?
    Thanks Carolg

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Haha. How do I explain Walthamstow? It’s way East and a bit out of the way if you visit London. It’s worth a visit though. Thanks Carol.

  • Reply We Heart Home November 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    And once again, I am so glad to come along with you to the William Morris Gallery 🙂 Looks like lots of fun! I was really surprised by the bathroom doors, totally love them.

    Off to pin your pic of the campari light now 😉

    Xx. Holly.

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      Yes, was rather surprised by the bathroom doors. Really cheery and beautiful. Simple and effective.!
      You would love the place and we could sit, have tea and chat for hours.

      ALso there’s a great park behind where we could take a walk, feed the ducks and generally do slow living!!!
      Oh, for all of this you need to come to London? Now, when do you get holidays??? x

      • Reply We Heart Home November 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        I know! I took all my holidays for this year for xmas time since my sister is coming to visit. But 2013 is full of possibilities 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply leah of sang the bird November 17, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Ok…. this is amazing!! I love the stencils and the weaving!
    And that quote is one of my all time favourites! A mantra to live by xx


    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Oh, thank you for including your post! Fab!!!

      Happy you like it xx

  • Reply Chi@106 November 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    What an incredible place to spend the day. Every nook and cranny is filled with multi-sensory inspiration!

    I LOVE the toilet doors – in fact, I think I might steal that idea for our next home. 😉
    And that table? Wow! It is exactly the kind of furniture I adore but can never find.

    “I found myself wanting to join in, but feared for uncomfortable stares from parents:)”
    Who can blame you? If you ever fancy going back, take me with you and we can both be overgrown kids together! 😀 x

    • Reply tina November 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      So well put Chi… 🙂

      You do that, your new home would be jollier for it..

      Ha ha. Deal! Need some overgrown kid as a partner in crime. Maybe you can bring L and I’ll come and meet you there!! x

  • Reply Catherine Bedson November 19, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Your so lucky Tina you live in London to visit all these beautiful places. Love the Campari pendant lights and yes the toilet doors! Always thinking of my stomach..the cafe looks pretty good too!

    • Reply tina November 19, 2012 at 2:32 am

      Ha. I know and I’m so greatful for it!!!

      The Campari pendent is a lot of fun. Love clever ideas like that.
      Now, your stomach… :))

  • Reply Nicola November 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks Tina, brilliant post on a great find of a museum.

    Clever use of the wallpapers on the doors, makes you look at the designs in a different light. x

    • Reply tina November 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks Nicola:)

      They are quite the hit. Such a genius idea…. xx

  • Reply Doris November 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Tina, I didn’t even know this gallery existed! This is what I LOVE about London. I love the quote also. It’s definitely on the visit list for over Christmas. Thanks Doris

  • Reply annie November 27, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Those bathroom doors are really cool!

    I don’t know that I even knew this place existing. doh! I love how contemporary and fresh it is. Not what you’d expect really. Great find Tina.

    Group outing??

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