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Furnishing fabric, Honeysuckle, 1876
William Morris
Furnishing fabric, Honeysuckle
William Morris,

Furnishing fabric, Honeysuckle,
1876

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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Honeysuckle William Morris Furnishing fabric
  • Honeysuckle William Morris Furnishing fabric
  • Honeysuckle William Morris Furnishing fabric
  • Honeysuckle William Morris Furnishing fabric
  • Honeysuckle William Morris Furnishing fabric
  • Honeysuckle William Morris Furnishing fabric
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Listen to the text
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The designer, theorist, and socialist William Morris (1834–1896)—cofounder of the English Arts and Crafts movement—is considered one of the most important pioneers of modern applied arts. He understood his work as a designer, craftsman, and producer as an alternative to industrial production.

The new markets and sources of raw materials associated with English imperialism, along with the technological achievements of the era, led in the nineteenth century to increased demand and the rapid growth of mass-produced textiles. Precarious working conditions and poor-quality fabrics were the result. In 1861, William Morris and his comrades-in-arms founded the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (as of 1874, Morris & Co.) with the intention of creating products that met their demanding standards. Morris experimented with both new and historical, preindustrial methods and developed techniques such as indigo-discharge printing and printing fabrics with mineral dyes. These techniques allowed him to transfer intricate, often axisymmetric patterns onto fabrics precisely and in the desired quality. Morris achieved a spatial effect in naturalistic ornament by layering a dominant pattern over a smaller one. This can be seen, for example, in the furnishing fabric Honeysuckle, which Morris’s daughter May once described as “the most truly Morrisian,” and which the Liberty company still offers today in two different colorways. Although opulent pink tulips dominate the image, Morris decided to name the fabric after the supporting player, honeysuckle—since, after all, it was ultimately this flower that would dominate the bouquet with its enchanting fragrance! (Julia Klinner)

Dekorationsstoff, Honeysuckle, 1876
Entwurf: William Morris
Herstellung: Morris & Co., London, GB
Material/Technik: Baumwolle, Indigo-Ätzverfahren, Handdruck mit Holzmodeln
240 x 96.5 cm
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK
Literatureo

Linda Parry, William Morris. Textiles, London 2013.

Ruth Grönwoldt, Art Nouveau. Textil-Dekor um 1900, Ausst.-Kat. Württembergisches Landesmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart 1980.

Image creditso

Dekorationsstoff, Honeysuckle, 1876, Entwurf: William Morris, Herstellung: Morris & Co., London, GB
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Dekorationsstoff, Kennet, 1883, Entwurf: William Morris, Herstellung: Morris & Co., London, GB
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Dekorationsstoff, Strawberry Thief, 1883, Entwurf: William Morris, Herstellung: Morris & Co., London, GB
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Tapete, Seaweed, 1901, Entwurf: John Henry Dearle, Herstellung: Morris & Co., London, GB
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Tapete, Artichoke, um 1898, Entwurf: John Henry Dearle, Herstellung: Morris & Co., London, GB
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Dekorationsstoff, Peacock and Dragon, vor 1878, Entwurf: William Morris, Herstellung: Morris & Co., London, GB
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Einladungskarte, Eröffnung der Ausstellung „William Morris 1834–1896“, 1979, Herausgabe: Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, Museum Bellerive
Abbildung: Archiv ZHdK

Exhibition texto
Textiles: William Morris

The machine-woven but hand-printed fabrics created by the English designer William Morris (1834–1896) reflect his fundamental design principles: beauty, quality, and faithfulness to materials. His figurative and abstract ornamentation was inspired by exuberant natural growth. The patterns presented here are among the most popular designs produced by the influential founder of the Arts and Crafts movement of the nineteenth century, which provided important impulses for Art Nouveau, the Werkbund, and the Bauhaus.