William Morris, son of a prosperous City financier, was a distinguished writer, artist, industrialist, political thinker and publisher. In 1861, he founded Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co ‘Fine Art Workmen in Painting, Carving, Furniture and Metals’, the partners included the Pre-Raphaelite painters, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, symbolizing the union of art and industry. The company, which was reorganised as Morris & Co in 1875, designed and made allpaper, embroidery, woven fabrics, tapestry, tiles and carpets.
Morris also founded the Kelmscott Press, which printed limited editions of books by his favourite authors, as well as his own books. The most notable publication was The Works of Geoffrey Chaucher, illustrated by Burne-Jones and laid out by Morris himself. The Kelmscott books are among the most beautiful books ever produced, the originals are collectors items, but modern editions are available today
Apart from his artistic and industrial work, Morris was also a serious political thinker. In 1883, he joined the Social Democratic Federation and actively espoused the socialist cause in meetings, pamphlets and books. His family home in altham Forest, North East London, has been converted into a museum, with much interesting material to illustrate all facets of his life, work and influence. William Morris Gallery