morris’s works and legacy


William Morris was a prolific maker and designer. His printed and woven furnishing textiles, tapestries, carpets, embroideries, tiles, stained glass, and wallpapers transformed Victorian interiors, from churches to middle-class homes.

In 1861, with six partners, he co-founded a decorating firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Commonly known as The Firm, the company was reconstituted as Morris & Co. in 1875. The Firm regularly undertook extensive interior decoration commissions as well as producing goods for their London retail shop.

In much of his design work Morris worked collaboratively with friends, including the painter Edward Burne-Jones and the architect Philip Webb, and with family members, especially his younger daughter May Morris, who took over the embroidery section of Morris & Co. in 1885.

Morris’s published lectures on subjects as diverse as pattern design, dyeing techniques, and the social role of art reached a wide international audience. His visual style and his views on materials, hand-making, and the value of craft were highly influential. He is considered a founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and his mark can be seen everywhere from the Bauhaus Movement to the works of twenty-first-century artists and craftspeople.

Image: William Morris, design for Tulip and Willow, 1873-75. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

William Morris’s Designs

Learn More

Browse articles in the Journal of William Morris Studies about Morris’s art and design.

More resources about Morris’s designs.

Read more about Morris’s book arts and political thought.