The University Record, September 17, 1996

Works of William Morris displayed in Special Collections Library

A solid dark block of type is difficult to achieve when printing poetry. Morris' solution was to print opening stanzas as paragraphs separtated by small leaf ornaments or numbers.

Photo by Bob Kalmbach


William Morris, a man who was at once a dreamer and an idealist as well as a realist and pragmatist, is honored on the 100th anniversary of his death with an exhibit that highlights the multi-faceted nature of this energetic and creative man of the Victorian era.

"Pursuing the Ideal: The Life and Work of William Morris" runs through Nov. 2 at the Special Collections Library, located in the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. The Special Collections Library is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., and 10 a.m.-noon Sat.. Admission is free.

The exhibit includes Morris' work as a poet, translator, artist, decorator, craftsman, manufacturer, printer and socialist. First or early editions of many of his writings will be displayed along with descriptions and photos of the textiles, tapestries, wallpapers and stained glass produced by his firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. The work of his later years is emphasized in the exhibit, focusing on the establishment of the Kelmscott Press, a cooperative publishing and printing enterprise noted for its leading role in the Arts and Crafts Movement in England and for raising the level of artistic design and craftsmanship in book manufacture.

Morris' activities in politics and reform, particularly with the socialist Democratic Federation and the Socialist League, also are documented in the exhibit.