Morris wallpaper – not just William!

Morris wallpapers feature designs from William and his often overlooked daughter.

A video from Morris & Co. who are continuing the Morris tradition to this day. The modern studio produces new Morris wallpaper designs that are inspired by the originals.

A portrait of William Morris aged 53
William Morris at age 53 – Wikipedia

William Morris was a designer and an artist, poet and thinker. Likewise his philosophies ran through distinctive nature-inspired designs. At the heart of their business, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. wanted to make great design affordable for the many. 

Their rise to fame after International Exhibition in 1862 however led to commissions including interiors for South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) and for St James’s Palace, and the organic designs for the museum dining room became William Morris’s design hallmark, weaving through Morris wallpaper, fabrics and embroidery.

Green Dining Room at the V&A
The 'Green Dining Room' at the V&A – image: © V&A

Organic growth – embroidery

The company grew quickly and its influence spread. To ensure that the Morris philosophy and style continued, his daughter May took over the embroidery department in 1885. This was highly unusual because she was only 23. Above all else, it was almost unheard of to give a position of control to a woman.

May Morris by Dante Rosetti
May aged 10. Painted by Dante Gabriel Rosetti – image: Arthive
Portrait of May Morris
May Morris. Image: V&A

May’s work’s exquisite, free needlework style echoed and built on her father’s celebrated Morris wallpaper designs. Similarly, her embroideries came to be described as ‘art needlework’. Because her work was executed with such style and quality, you can still see some fine examples in pride of place at Standen House in Sussex.

May Morris wall hanging
A wall hanging from around 1900 by May Morris. Image: National Museums Scotland.

Modern Morris

Morris & Co. are stewards of the Morris archive to this day. They produce wallpapers, cushions, rugs and bedding true to the Morris design philosophy. Probably the best example is the Melsetter wallpaper collection (see our wallpaper book club page) that features modern adaptations of many of May’s designs.


Morris & Co. logo

Finally, at wallpaperdirect we proudly offer a wide range of Morris designs re-imagined exclusively for us. At last you can enjoy a taste of May and William’s Morris with a modern twist in your own home today.

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