PRINT November 1984


The Collected Letters of William Morris

WILLIAM MORRIS’ WORK IS UNIQUE in never having gone completely out of fashion. His designs have always been available to the public (except during the years of the Second World War): not in the sterile atmosphere of museums but in the more exciting and practical form of purchasable bales of cloth and rolls of wallpaper. But the lasting popularity of his designs is not the only reason for his widespread fame today, which also arises from his anticipation, in his political and ideological writings and by his practical activities, of the preoccupations of our age. Much of our concern for conservation, ecology, and the pollution of the environment were prefigured in Morris’ teachings during the later years of his life, when he lectured the length and breadth of England on the role of the decorative arts, the preservation of ancient buildings, and the creation of a just and equable society.


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