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Sustainable Luxury

July 14 - Nov 12, 2018 Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper Room

Sustainable Luxury: Morris & Co. Textiles and Wallpapers from The Huntington's Art Collections

 John Henry Dearle (British, 1859-1932), for Morris & Co. Golden Lily, undated. Distemper on paper.

John Henry Dearle (British, 1859-1932), for Morris & Co. Golden Lily, undated. Distemper on paper.

 

How can we make products affordable for everyone and at the same time achieve quality and sustainability? How can we create design that elevates utilitarian objects to the status of artwork? How can we guarantee humane working conditions for factory employees? Though such questions sound very of-the-moment, they had already been raised in 19th century England by William Morris (1834–1896). Acknowledged leader of the British Arts and Crafts movement, Morris started his own company in 1861 in response to what he felt were demoralizing mass production methods introduced by the industrial revolution. The Morris firm produced handcrafted decorative objects using methods that respected the environment and the people involved in their manufacture.

 

Inspired by historical patterns and employing ancient techniques such as block printing and natural dying, the firm produced a wide range of decorative arts, with textiles and wallpapers comprising a large portion of the artistic output. This exhibition presents a selection of 18 drawings, wallpapers and textiles from The Huntington´s holdings of Morris & Co. materials. From fascinating drawings by Morris and long-time collaborator John Henry Dearle, to colorful fabrics and wallpapers, "Sustainable Luxury" reveals the creative process from design to finished product.

 

Images

John Henry Dearle (British, 1859-1932), for Morris & Co. Seaweed, ca. 1900. Watercolor and graphite on paper.

John Henry Dearle (British, 1859-1932), for Morris & Co. Seaweed, ca. 1900. Watercolor and graphite on paper.

 


William Morris (British, 1834-1896), Loddon, ca. 1884. Ink and wash on paper.

William Morris (British, 1834-1896), Loddon, ca. 1884. Ink and wash on paper.

 


 John Henry Dearle (British, 1859-1932), for Morris & Co. Fox and Grape, ca. 1898. Hand-loom jacquard woven wool.

John Henry Dearle (British, 1859-1932), for Morris & Co. Fox and Grape, ca. 1898. Hand-loom jacquard woven wool.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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