Harold Wilson at the William Morris Centre, 23 July1976

“Fellowship is Heaven”: Sixty Years of The William Morris Society

12th September 2015 – 31st January 2016

We invite you to celebrate the William Morris Society’s Diamond Jubilee with us through this celebratory exhibition.

Since 1955 the William Morris Society has sustained and increased knowledge and interest in the life and legacy of William Morris, reaching members world-wide through its Journal, Newsletters, Museum, events and scholarly conferences. We have offshoots in Canada and the Unites States, and from time to time informal sub-groups meet up within Britain. The Society supports and commissions contemporary craft workers, encourages young and older scholars, and co-operates with other organisations whose remits overlap with its own.
We aim to take members to new places, share discoveries and deepen our understanding of a most remarkable man, his artistic and political networks, and his vision of ‘How We Might Live’ which remains perennially inspiring to this day.
Jan Marsh, President of The William Morris Society

Symposium: Morris in the 21st Century

Saturday, 5 September 10am-5pmRhythm 69, image 31 (2007) by David Mabb
The Birmingham and Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BS
Speakers: Jan Marsh, Chair (National Portrait Gallery and President, WMS), Ruth Levitas (University of Bristol), Tony Pinkney (University of Lancaster), Patrick O’Sullivan (University of Plymouth), Owen Holland (University of Cambridge), David Mabb (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Organised by for our Diamond Jubilee Year

Ticket details:
Symposium £30, or £10 concession for students and unwaged
To purchase tickets or for further information please contact the office at Kelmscott House – admin@williammorrissociety.org.uk
Tickets can also be purchased via our Eventbrite page (subject to booking fee) https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/william-morris-in-the-21st-century-tickets-17395611743

Full abstracts and timetable available for download:
William Morris in the 21st Century – lit

This symposium, to be chaired by the Society’s president Jan Marsh, will examine various aspects of Morris’s legacy. The aftermath of the general election provides a very appropriate opportunity to explore Morris’s political ideas and their contemporary relevance. Martin Stott, Chair of the Society will introduce the symposium as a celebration of the Society’s 60th year. Ruth Levitas, a former chair of the Society, talks about the relevance of Morris in the light of the election campaign and the Labour leadership elections, whilst Tony Pinkney re-assesses Morris’s Marxism. The explosion of ‘new nature writing’ has been the publishing phenomenon of the past decade and Patrick O’Sullivan will speak on William Morris and nature. Education is always politically controversial and, Owen Holland, the new editor of the Society’s Journal, re-examines Morris’s views on education. David Mabb will speak about his exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, which celebrates the utopian ideas of Morris and the Russian artist El Lissitzky through their seminal book designs.

The nearby Birmingham Art Gallery is currently hosting Jeremy Deller’s exhibition Love is Enough and there will be time for participants to attend the exhibition during the lunch break.

The Society hopes that the location of the event in the heart of the country will enable a greater number of people to take part in this exciting jubilee event.

Notes on the participants
Jan Marsh: President of the William Morris Society, author of numerous works on the Pre-Raphaelites and of Jane and May Morris: A Biographical Story, 1839-1938 (1986)
Ruth Levitas: Former chair of the William Morris Society, known internationally for her work on utopia, particularly The Concept of Utopia (1990), and for her research into poverty and social exclusion.
Tony Pinkney: Senior lecturer at Lancaster University, author of a well-known blog on Morris and utopianism, http://williammorrisunbound.blogspot.co.uk/. Other publications include William Morris in Oxford: The Campaigning Years 1879 – 1895 (2007) and We Met Morris: Interviews with William Morris 1879 – 95 (2005).
Patrick O’Sullivan: Outgoing editor of the Society’s Journal of William Morris Studies, lecturer on environmentalism and environmental philosophy, Patrick has written and lectured extensively on environmental themes in the life and ideas of Morris.
Owen Holland: Newly appointed editor of the Society’s Journal. Owen recently completed his doctoral thesis on William Morris’s Utopianism and the Politics of Mundane Intervention.
David Mabb: Reader in Art at Goldsmith’s, UoL, David has exhibited internationally with almost 30 solo exhibitions. He has been working with the designs of William Morris for some 15 years and curated William Morris: ‘Ministering to the Swinish Luxury of the Rich’ at the Whitworth Art Gallery (2004).

Opportunity: Newsletter Editor

The William Morris Society is looking for a new editor for its newsletter. The quarterly 32-page newsletter is our main means of communicating with our membership. It contains an eclectic range of news, from updates on the Society’s activities and Morris-related events to short articles on all aspects of Morris’s life and work.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone to bring fresh ideas to the newsletter editorship in our 60th anniversary year. We are looking for an individual with a passion to communicate all aspects of Morris’s life and works and a proven knowledge of publishing in both traditional and electronic media. The editor will be invited to attend the meetings of the Society’s Board of Trustees, which will provide a fascinating insight into the wider workings of the Society.

The editorship is an unpaid post, but travel and subsistence costs to attend committee meetings and other out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed.

For more information please contact admin@williammorrissociety.org.uk

2015 – Our Diamond Jubilee Year

Unless otherwise stated:

• Events are at Kelmscott House starting 2.15 pm.
• Tickets: members, £6; non-members, £8; students £4
Applications for tickets should be sent to the WMS office – address at the bottom of this page. Stamped addressed envelopes should accompany all postal bookings.

The pre-booking of tickets for all events is strongly advised. Our historic Coach House lecture room has limited seating capacity and if you attend without booking beforehand you risk being turned away.

Please find the PDF version to download at your convenience here:
WMS Programme July to December 2015

Saturday, 5th September 10am-5pm
William Morris in the 21st century
Symposium at the Birmingham and Midland
Institute, Birmingham
This symposium, to be chaired by the Society’s president Jan Marsh, will examine various aspects of Morris’s legacy. The aftermath of the general election provides a very appropriate opportunity to explore Morris’s political ideas and their contemporary relevance. Ruth Levitas, a former chair of the Society, looks at the election from a Morrisian standpoint, whilst Tony Pinkney re-assesses Morris’s Marxism. The significant increase in both votes and membership for the Green Party suggests that environmental issues are very much on people’s minds, and Patrick O’Sullivan will speak on William Morris and nature. Education is always politically controversial and Owen Holland, the new editor of the Society’s Journal, re-examines Morris’s views on education. The event will be held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in Birmingham, in close proximity to the Birmingham Art Gallery, where Jeremy Deller’s exhibition Love is Enough is currently on show. There will be time for participants to attend the exhibition during the lunch break, but in the symposium itself David Mabb will speak about his forthcoming exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, which celebrates the utopian ideas of Morris and the Russian artist El Lissitzky through their
seminal book designs.
Buffet lunch (no dietary specifications possible) can be provided at the Birmingham Art Gallery, or participants may make their own arrangements. We encourage participants to join us for lunch at the gallery, which will provide an excellent opportunity for informal discussions and exchange of ideas.
The Society hopes that the location of the event in the heart of the country
will enable a greater number of people to take part in this exciting jubilee event.
Tickets: Symposium £30, £10 for students or unwaged
To purchase tickets or for further information please contact the office at Kelmscott House – admin@williammorrissociety.org.uk
Tickets can also be purchased via our Eventbrite page (subject to booking fee)

Saturday, 12th September at 2.15pm
New Visual identity of The William Morris Society
Angus Hyland
We are unveiling an exciting new visual identity for the Society, created by Angus Hyland at Pentagram, the world’s largest independent design consultancy. Angus’s talk will explain the process, concept and execution of this identity, which you will see rolled out to all of the Society’s print and digital publications during the 60th year. It will also look at Pentagram more widely, offering a glimpse into the agency behind some of world’s most iconic brands. Angus is a graphic designer, Pentagram partner and Creative Director at Laurence King. His clients include Mulberry, EAT, Cass Art and Penguin. Angus’s work has been widely published and exhibited and has received over one hundred creative awards including five D&AD silvers and the Grand Prix from the Scottish Design Awards.

Saturday/Sunday 19/20th September 11am–5pm
Open House London
We once again participate in London’s annual Open House weekend. Please note that the Society’s premises are in the coach house and basement. Kelmscott House itself is privately owned and not open to the public. If you can help us greet our visitors and serve refreshments please contact our Curator, Helen Elletson at WMS office, details on reverse.

Saturday, 26th September 11 am–12pm
Thames Festival: Riverside Walking Tour
Helen Elletson
Join the Society in celebrating the 2015 Thames Festival with a guided walking tour of the Hammersmith riverside. Learn stories of the river and those who lived beside it, from JMW Turner to Morris & Emery Walker.

Saturday, 14th November at 2.15pm
60th Anniversary Kelmscott Lecture
On Morris
David Gentleman
The distinguished artist David Gentleman will speak about Morris as artist, designer, businessman, writer and thinker, consider the effects his ideas had on his friends and contemporaries, reflect on his continuing influence on later generations of artists and designers, and identify which aspects of Morris have had most bearing on his own work. David Gentleman, artist and designer, is best known for his books, watercolours, and his murals at
Charing Cross tube station.

Saturday 12th December at 2.15pm
Recital by Zadok Baroque
Byron Mahoney and his period instrument group, Zadok Baroque will be charting the evolution of quartets for traverso, violin, viola and basso continuo in transition from the baroque to the classical periods. Marvellous music interspersed with witty words and seasonal readings remembering William Morris and his connection with the early music revival. We look forward to welcoming you back to Georgian times at his elegant riverside residence, Kelmscott House, Hammersmith.
Tickets £17.50 (no concessions due to
limited seating). Tickets will be sold online only at www.baroque.plus.com.
Festive wine and cake gifted in interval


Please note:
• Your participation at any event is at your own risk. The Society cannot accept any liability for injury, loss, or damage.
• Direct level access is available to the Coach House where talks take place. The rest of our
premises have limited wheelchair access.
• The Society reserves the right to cancel, alter, or postpone any events, as it may consider expedient or necessary.
• Refunds will only be offered if a cancellation or postponement is made by the Society.

Treasurer Opportunity

We have an exciting opportunity coming up on our Board of Trustees as we are currently looking for a new Treasurer. The role of the Treasurer is to maintain an overview of the Society’s financial affairs, managing and mitigating financial risk. This is a strategic role with the Finance Manager (a one-day-a-week staff role) in charge of day-to-day financial operations. Please click here for further details…

The Peter Floud Prize

We are delighted to announce the latest recipients of the Peter Floud Prize:

  • Stephen Williams receives £300 for his proposed research on Robert Banner (1855-1910), a member of the Social-Democratic Federation executive and amongst those who left with Morris to form the Socialist League.
  • £100 to Natalia Martynenko-Hunt who is writing a thesis on J. H. Dearle and the Arts & Crafts Movement for the National Academy of Arts and Architecture of Ukraine.
  • £100 to Andrew J. Wood at the University of California, Santa Cruz who is writing a thesis on aesthetic experience as a politically mobilizing force, focusing on William Morris and on a 20th-century punk rock band.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Successful Heritage Lottery Fund Bid

We are delighted to announce that our partnership project with the Emery Walker Trust, Arts and Crafts Hammersmith, has secured £631,100 from Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will start in spring 2015 and includes improvements to our buildings, conservation, educational and participation activities. Fundraising for the final £150,000 continues and more news is to come in the new year. The media release can be downloaded here.