William Morris Screen & Co

William Morris Screen & Co
William Morris Screen & Co

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Great Britain the company founded by William Morris (1834 - 1896), specializing in all kinds of furniture and decorative objects and which would become the leading exponent of the movement known as Arts and Crafts (Arts and Crafts).


William Morris & Co. Screen

An artistic movement that arose in opposition to the industrial production that had been developing since the middle of the century. For this reason, theorists such as John Ruskin promoted the value of all craftsmanship, due to its unique character, as opposed to the repeated and uniform copies produced by industries.

William Morris, who was also a painter, was one of the followers of those theories. He and other artists founded guilds of craftsmen dedicated to making furniture, paper, fabrics, as well as full interior decorations and even building buildings. And all this had great success in exhibitions since 1888 they were held in London with the title of Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society.

Groups of artists and craftsmen such as those of William Morris & Co. were clearly inspired by the guild organizations of the Middle Ages, and even one of his sources of inspiration was always the miniatures of the medieval codices. Although it is true that thoseMedieval models have them somewhat idealized, because they considered that it was a very happy time for artists, since at the same time they were craftsmen.

However, this idealization was not based on historical knowledge, but on the rejection of the new forms of production and social relations that had brought about the first, and especially the second, Industrial Revolution, which had had as its epicenter England and areas of the United Kingdom.

In this historical context it is necessary to understand a character likeMorris, who was convinced that it was necessary to promote a profound social and political renewal, and even his ideals they were very close to the incipientSocialism. In this way, he considered that it was necessary to return to artisanal work, since that would be the most effective way to overcome the alienation that industry had brought.

However, those socialist ideals, among which they included that it was necessary to bring the arts closer to the people, are contradicted by the products that he later made. A good example is this screen, which is a really expensive object, both for the materials used and for its costly production process.

This is a very refined item, only accessible to the we althier classes. And even more so if it is known that when producing a screen like this, it was not done individually, but was part of a larger set, in which the screen, the rugs, the wallpaper or the upholstery of the nearby furniture formed a whole playing withvariations of these same decorative motifs.

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