Made by William Morris / Pink and Rose Wallpaper Design / ca. 1890Made by William Morris
Pink and Rose Wallpaper Design
ca. 1890

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Creator Name: Morris, William
Creator Nationality: European; British; English
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: English, 1834-1896
Creator Name-CRT: Made by William Morris
Title: Pink and Rose Wallpaper Design
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1880
Creation End Date: 1900
Creation Date: ca. 1890
Object Type: Prints
Materials and Techniques: Hand-block-printed wallpaper
Dimensions: 22 x 28 in. (55.9 x 71.1 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 23.163.4a
Credit Line: Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1923

Henry James described William Morris as 'the poet and paper-maker' in 1881. Indeed, despite his many designs for stained glass, textiles, tapestries, furniture, and books, it is for his wallpapers that Morris is best known today. Reinventing the decorative vocabulary of his time, Morris believed that 'any decoration is futile...when it does not remind you of something beyond itself.' He turned to nature for inspiration, seeking to 'turn a room into a bower, a refuge.' The English countryside, with its hedgerows and native field and garden flowers, remained his touchstone throughout the period of over thirty years during which he designed wallpaper.

Beginning in 1862 with the firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Company and later on his own with Morris & Company, Morris designed forty-one wallpapers and five ceiling papers. 'Pink and Rose,' from about 1890, is typical of his late style, which is characterized by naturalism and a clearly articulated repeating pattern. Morris believed that beauty, imagination, and order were the essential components of a successful design; all three elements are evident in this example of his wallpaper. His papers not only were an immense commercial success during his lifetime, but they also played a significant role in raising the status of English wallpaper to a position of international preeminence in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

AMICA ID: MMA_.23.163.4a
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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