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Morris was a man of prolific talents but it is probably as a designer of repeating patterns, and in particular, wallpapers, that he is best remembered today. A one-man pattern-making phenomenon and a master of colour, he created over 50 wallpapers, which also became the most commercially successful work produced by his firm Morris & Co. Many of his designs exemplify his celebrated injunction to 'have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful' and illustrate his insistence on skilled craftsmanship and high-quality materials.

This lecture examines Morris's wallpapers within the context of Victorian design, and considers some of the different ways in which they were used and why they continue to have such an impact on designers today.

Jo Banham is a freelance lecturer and writer. She has worked as Head of Public Programmes at the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain. She has published on many of wallpaper and interior design, including books on Morris. She is currently researching a new book on the history of wallpaper for Thames & Hudson.

A Passion for Pattern: William Morris Wallpapers

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