About the friends

William Morris was an artist, writer and socialist. His work and ideas continue to inspire many thousands throughout the world.

He was born on 24 March 1834 at Elm House in Walthamstow. From 1847 to 1856, he lived in the Water House, now the William Morris Gallery. Funded by the London Borough of Waltham Forest, it is the only public museum devoted to Morris’s life, work and influence.

Morris’s work is shown alongside that of Edward Burne-Jones, Philip Webb, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, his youngest daughter May Morris, and others who were his collaborators in the firm of Morris & Co. Textiles, wallpapers, furniture, stained glass, tiles and fine printing are represented in the permanent displays.

As well as the comprehensive survey of Morris and his circle, the Gallery holds extensive collections from the Arts & Crafts movement.

The Friends of the William Morris Gallery play an important part in promoting the Gallery’s collections and activities — by helping to finance exhibitions, publications and development projects, by raising funds for the purchase of new acquisitions and by lending support in many other ways. At a time of reduced public spending in the arts, the contribution of the Friends is invaluable. By becoming a member you will be helping to maintain the high standards of this unique museum.



Background history