On Sunday afternoon I ventured across London to Walthamstow to visit the recently re-opened William Morris Gallery with my friend, N. N is an architect, so it is always more interesting to visit a design-focused gallery with someone who actually knows what they are talking about!
The gallery is housed in a beautifully restored Georgian building (with some later Victorian additions), where Morris lived as a teenager.
As evidenced by the ubiquitous blue plaque...
The gallery was an interesting mix of a chronology of Morris's life, including his position in the Arts and Crafts movement and within the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and also his process of design from conception to manufacture across a range of medium (fabric, carpet, furniture, ceramics etc).
As we made our way around the gallery I found myself more drawn towards his more muted designs - those with only a small number of colours, but filled with the fine detail for which Morris was known.
Whilst I'd been aware of his impact within interior design, I hadn't known that he had also designed various typefaces, and ran his own printing press for a time.
He was a truly interesting and progressive man for his time - not just in terms of his design and creativity, but also in terms of his business acumen and his social/political ideals.
If you are in/near London and have a spare afternoon, the gallery is well worth a visit (and there is a lovely cafe in the gallery also).
...and then given it was Sunday, I headed home in the early evening for a cosy night at home - some warming comfort food, a glass of wine, and Downton Abbey...