Category: Uncategorized

A journey of discovery – The Walkers and Islamic Art

I started volunteering at Emery Walker’s house in January 2017 whilst I was completing the final year of my PhD in Digital Islamic art. My subject was very much informed by traditional Islamic art and architecture and its continuity through contemporary artistic practice in the UK. However, I havealso had a long interest in arts and crafts of all cultures and had been a fan of William Morris’ work from a young age. I started volunteering just as the house was being reinstated after its closure…

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How Shall We Live Then? The moral dilemma of wearing the new H&M Morris & Co collection

H&M’s latest collection featuring William Morris designs has flown out of their thousands of shops worldwide.It is floaty and floral and oh so attractively priced. Although it only launched this month, there is now a feeding frenzy online for the few items left. Morris is firmly back in fashion and, oh joy, machine washable. But hang on, should we be worried about this? What would Morris have made of this H&M Collection sold in his name? Is it true to his aesthetic and social vision and if not…

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Morris and Walker “working” together again on new Arts & Crafts bags.

The Emery Walker Trust and The William Morris Society have joined forces to commission new BIDBI bags to promote their Arts & Crafts house museums.Both heritage sites have recently been restored and received funding to work together on joint projects to make their small sites more sustainable for the future. The tote bags, which have their distinctive new black and red logos on each side, reflect this closer connection and references the friendship and working collaboration between William…

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Think your housework is hard work? Discover the difficulties in keeping Emery Walker’s House clean!

Conservation cleaning in the small and intimate surroundings of Emery Walker’s House at 7 Hammersmith Terrace soon becomes quite personal. At the end of a long, careful and therefore tiring day there is the temptation to look up at the severe, but kindly Victorian demeanour of Emery Walker above the fire place and ask, ‘ Well, what do you think? Have I missed anything?’This is certainly no vast pile calling for armies of conservationists at considerable cost. Indeed, cramped for space and…

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Morris is Enough

”Then we turned from the blossoms, and cold were they grown:In the trees the wind westering moved;Till over the threshold back fluttered her gown,And in the dark house was I loved.”This is the final stanza in William Morris’s poem Thunder In The Garden, from his book Poems By The Way, published in 1891 as some kind of scrap book with older texts, new poems written on the way to somewhere, for newspapers and directly for his political mission.”Thunder”, is one of the new ones, maybe written just…

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Member 7432 reports on a trip to London.

It was a Thursday, we had just come off the Eurostar from Bruxelles for six days in London, and we seized the moment: ”Kelmscott is open today, wo-hoooo”. Straight off on the bus to Hammersmith.We found a very cool Brutalist town hall and a nice Polish café. And a Pooh-ish smackerel it was time for 26 Upper Mall, a magic address. Reaching the river, just when the sun broke through, was the journey’s best moment. Ebb. A rowing team was training at the beach. Morris used to watch the boat races…

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William Morris Everywhere

In my last post, I mentioned how William Morris’ life really manages to find its way through the cracks into every part of your life. Let me tell you more about that.One of the perks of being a volunteer is that my days spent at The William Morris Society and Emery Walker’s House are varied. While I do love unboxing physical things, in a more metaphorical sense, this volunteer approach allows me to uncover all sorts of other information too.In my other, non-volunteering life, I am an Arts…

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The Story of The Persian Carpet

Wiliam Morris was a passionate advocate of Persian textiles and instrumental in convincing the Victoria & Albert Museum to purchase the world famous Ardabil carpet.Measuring 38′ long by 18′ wide, it is an extremely fine specimen bearing the following inscription by the weaver:“I have no refuge in the world other than thy threshold. There is no protection for my head other than this door.The work of the servant of the threshold Maqsud of Kashan in the year 946.”So it is apt that Arts & Crafts…

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Life with the Boxes

Life as an archive and cataloguing volunteer is about more than just rummaging through unseen items.Emery Walker’s House at 7 Hammersmith Terrace is fairly unique among historical houses because it still feels very much like a home. It’s not merely a recreation of what could have been, but is a reflection of how its cross-generational inhabitants really did use it as a space in which to live.And like any home, Emery Walker’s House has collected a plethora of knick-knacks over the years. As a…

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The fine art of embroidery

Hello!I’m Sally Roberson; I’m an embroiderer & this is my first textile blog for the Arts & Crafts Hammersmith website. Ever since I was young I’ve got more & more interested in (or obsessed by, if you listen to my friends) the designs of William Morris and his friends, starting from when I was a penniless student in the 1960s and found myself, one wet Monday morning in Manchester, with several hours to kill while I waited for a train. The City Art Gallery was the obvious choice; it’s there that…

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