William Morris is perhaps the single most important figure in the history of wallpaper. A writer, artist, and political activist, Morris was truly a renaissance man, but his achievements in fabric and wallpaper design stand above the rest. Championing the British arts and crafts movement, Morris merged his interest in patterning with his lifelong fascination with nature. The results are timeless patterns, rich in color, elegant in design.
It’s striking to me how relevant Morris’ work and philosophies are to wallpaper today. His fundamental belief that surface design depends upon intentional lines and silhouettes is undeniably true; Cavern’s “Blackbird” pattern is a great example. And his interest in hand-made art and abstracting the natural world all seem very modern, very “now.” I’ll post more eye-candy from Morris in the upcoming weeks – his patterns are truly exquisite.