Tuesday - 21 October 2014

William Morris masterpieces on show after gallery revamp

13 August 2012Written by ATG Reporter

Many objects can go on show for the first time now that the William Morris Gallery has reopened after a £5m revamp.

The work now completed at Morris' former Walthamstow home means nearly 600 items will be on display across 12 galleries - three of them new - arranged across six major themes looking at different aspects of his life.

The East London gallery, relaunched on August 2, includes his first wallpaper design, thought to have been created for St James' Palace, and among the woven, printed, embroidered and knotted textiles is The Woodpecker, the only tapestry he designed alone.

Also on show are some of his firm's earliest tiles, such as the Beauty and the Beast panel, the stained glass designs that made their name, furniture and the last masterpiece Morris created: the Kelmscott Press Chaucer.

There is a range of work reflecting his influence on other artists, such as a fretwork chair designed by Mackmurdo, one of only five known to exist in the world and identified as the precursor to Art Nouveau.

The galleries also feature designs, paintings and furniture by the talented artists and craftspeople Morris surrounded himself with, including works by Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Phillip Webb.

Meanwhile, the first stage of three in the £7m project to "restore, refurbish and improve" Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields, central London, has just been completed. Dubbed 'Opening Up The Soane' (OUTS), it aims to "return Soane's exquisite and intriguing private apartments" to their former brilliance. In practice, this means work to numbers 12 and 14 - the next-door houses -will allow greater public access to number 13, and give a better opportunity to display artefacts. This first phase includes a new exhibition gallery and conservation studios.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the Design Museum a grant of £4.65m towards its plans to create the world's leading museum of contemporary design and architecture.

It is due to open in the transformed former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington in 2014, and has already won £300,000 of development funding from the HLF as well as pledges and donations from The Conran Foundation and a number of other Trusts and Foundations and The Department for Culture Media and Sport.

Fundraising also aims to create an endowment fund to ensure the long-term sustainability of the museum. The work now completed at Morris' former Walthamstow home means nearly 600 items will be on display across 12 galleries - three of them new - arranged across six major themes looking at different aspects of his life.

The East London gallery, relaunched on August 2, includes his first wallpaper design, thought to have been created for St James' Palace, and among the woven, printed, embroidered and knotted textiles is The Woodpecker, the only tapestry he designed alone.

Also on show are some of his firm's earliest tiles, such as the Beauty and the Beast panel, the stained glass designs that made their name, furniture and the last masterpiece Morris created: the Kelmscott Press Chaucer.

There is a range of work reflecting his influence on other artists, such as a fretwork chair designed by Mackmurdo, one of only five known to exist in the world and identified as the precursor to Art Nouveau.

The galleries also feature designs, paintings and furniture by the talented artists and craftspeople Morris surrounded himself with, including works by Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Phillip Webb.

Meanwhile, the first stage of three in the £7m project to "restore, refurbish and improve" Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields, central London, has just been completed. Dubbed 'Opening Up The Soane' (OUTS), it aims to "return Soane's exquisite and intriguing private apartments" to their former brilliance. In practice, this means work to numbers 12 and 14 - the next-door houses -will allow greater public access to number 13, and give a better opportunity to display artefacts. This first phase includes a new exhibition gallery and conservation studios.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the Design Museum a grant of £4.65m towards its plans to create the world's leading museum of contemporary design and architecture.

It is due to open in the transformed former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington in 2014, and has already won £300,000 of development funding from the HLF as well as pledges and donations from The Conran Foundation and a number of other Trusts and Foundations and The Department for Culture Media and Sport.

Fundraising also aims to create an endowment fund to ensure the long-term sustainability of the museum.

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ATG Reporter

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