If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." (Morris, from The Beauty of Life,1880)*
Many people were born on, 24th of March, which is today. Many people will be born on March 24th in years to come.
171 years ago on March 24th 1834 William Morris was born in England. He intended to become a religious man, but his reading of the social criticism of Carlyle, Kingsley and Ruskin led him to leave the church and devote his life to Art. Well, till now his biography is maybe similar to many artists, but what is Art for him is the most interesting part for me.
Before his time, art is what we call today : High Art or Fine Art, which is Painting, Architecture, and above all Sculpture. (There were some arguments about Poetry whether it is art or not ? since Renaissance). One can say O.K. but art supposed to be Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. My point would be clearer if I tell what wasn’t considered art then: Crafts, Hand made objects, Designs for fabrics, Carpets, Jewelry, furniture and Cloths. All of the things that today we consider them and categorize them under the Decorative and Graphical Design.
Morris was one of the many geniuses whose work shaped the decorative art and Arts and Crafts Movement in the later half of the 1900th century. He encouraged return to handmade objects and rejected standard tastes. It is important for many people especially women in history, people whose hand made works considered Low Art for many years and maybe even today.
Morris’s designs for: fabrics, wall papers, tiles are so well-known that you have to have a certain kind of talent to miss them. Probably you didn’t know that they are Morris’s because they are everywhere, and so familiar to everyone.