2022 marked the 90th anniversary of the death of John Henry Dearle (1859-1932) and so it is timely to re-examine the extraordinary career of an artist now considered pivotal to Morris & Company. After beginning as a young apprentice with Morris & Company, Dearle soon became an accomplished designer of wallpaper, textiles, and stained glass. Upon Morris’s death in 1896, Dearle became the Artistic Director of Morris & Company and was responsible for the textile works until his death in 1932. Dearle’s reputation has suffered over the years, with accusations of merely copying William Morris’s designs. However, Dearle is now becoming recognised as an extremely talented artist in his own right. The William Morris Society is fortunate to have a significant collection of his beautiful art work, ranging from original watercolours and textiles to embroidery designs and wallpapers, including several patterns that proved to be among the most popular patterns ever produced by the Company. Helen Elletson gives a much-deserved reappraisal of the remarkable art of John Henry Dearle in his anniversary year.
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