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William Morris
William Morris (1834-1896) was a British artist and poet, and also a socialist. He worked as a painter for a number of years before founding the decorating business Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co, known as 'The Firm' with other artists, along the lines of medieval craftmanship. He designed wallpaper, fabric, tapestry, carpets, stained glass and furniture. His weaving and dyeing works was based at Merton Abbey, and he was joined here by William de Morgan (1839-1917), a stained glass designer, who became famous for the design of pottery tiles which were based on medieval designs, scenic, figural or art nouveau style.
In 1884 the Arts Workers Guild was formed which was aimed at giving greater recognition to craftsmen. In 1886 The Arts and Craft Exhibition Society was founded and William Morris was their spokesman until he died. The society's main purpose was to promote art in relation to utility, revive lost crafts and dignify labour. By the 1890's the Arts and Crafts Movement's ideas had spread and were implemented in the Glasgow School.


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