Visual & Decorative Arts Blog
On Thursday, a new exhibition on visionary artist, craftsman and activist William Morris opens at the National Portrait Gallery. It is exciting for its angle – rather than focus purely on the work for which he is probably best known (his understandably popular and beautiful wallpaper and textile designs), it will take a thoughtful look at his life, ideas and legacy, 'through portraits, personal items and fascinating objects'. It will explore his passionate belief in the democracy and availability of beauty – an 'art for the people' – alongside the work of his contemporaries (Rossetti, Burne-Jones) and those he inspired for decades to come (from courageously openly gay philosopher Edward Carpenter, and sculptor and typeface designer Eric Gill, to the artists of the 1951 Festival of Britain and post-war designers such as Terence Conran).
Our art calendars have been taking a lot of my focus recently, and today I've been working on our Illuminated Manuscripts wall calendar for 2015. (Yes I know, we're looking that far ahead already!) Having just seen how beautifully the 2014 calendar has turned out, we decided there was too much scope not to do it again for 2015 (and we didn't need much persuading). The artwork is stunning, and the history behind them is just as fascinating.