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William Morris (1834-1896), Poet, craftsman and socialist

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sitter in 67 portraits
In 1857 with fellow artists Rossetti and Burne-Jones, Morris contributed to a mural for the Oxford Union, later marrying Jane Burden, an artist who had modeled for himself and Rossetti at that time. In 1861, with Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Webb, he launched the design firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., later known as Morris & Co.. Originally famous for his poetry publications Defence of Guenevere (1858) and The Earthly Paradise (1868-70), Morris is now best known for his textile and wallpaper designs. He would help with the founding of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (1877), and the Socialist League (1884), and would go on to start the Kelmscott Press in 1890. The Morris' marriage was threatened by Jane's affair with Rossetti, but later regained its affectionate companionship.

Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below Gallery website users only.

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William Morris

by Unknown photographer
platinum print, circa 1893
NPG x3761


The staff of the Kelmscott Press

by Unknown photographer
whole-plate glass negative, circa 1893
NPG x32758


William Morris

by Robert Bryden, after Frederick Hollyer
woodcut, circa 1899 (1884)
NPG D32473


William Morris

by John Robert Parsons, published by Ellis & Green
albumen carte-de-visite, 14 June 1870
NPG x3765


William Morris

by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company
albumen cabinet card, 14 March 1877
NPG x3750


William Morris

by Sir Emery Walker
half-plate glass positive, 19 January 1889
NPG x19614


William Morris

by Sir Emery Walker
half-plate glass positive, 19 January 1889
NPG x19618