William Morris was one of the most important craftsmen of the nineteenth century. The textile designer set up a factory at Merton Abbey Mills. His industry included calico printing, bloc printing, carpet weaving, tapestries, tiles, stained glass, and many of his designs are still of great influence today.
But Morris was far more than just a textile designer. He was also a poet, novelist, translator, social activist, and played a major role in the British Arts and Crafts Movement,. When at the age of sixty-two, lying on his death bed, his doctor said the caused was 'simply being William Morris, and having done more work than most ten men'.
William Morris is something of a historical local hero in Merton, and we have various museums and sites where you can learn about him. But while these all explore the man's work and contribution, little is generally seen of the man himself.
Now the National Portrait Gallery are providing visitors that chance. Anarchy & Beauty explores William Morris and His Legacy through paintings and workshops. See portraits of Morris, find out about the history of facial hair, and learn lots of new crafts, including embroidery, silhouettes, printing, wallpaper design, and working with clay.
Tickets to the exhibit are £14 for adults, £!3 seniors, £12 concessions and children. You can visit any time up until the 11th January.