18 September 2011

Update on the William Morris Gallery

An exciting new project will redisplay one of the world’s finest collections of William Morris artefacts.
The William Morris Gallery is the only public gallery devoted to Morris’s life, work and influence. Housed in Morris’s early home in Walthamstow, it holds an internationally significant collection of textiles, designs, wallpapers, furniture, ceramics and books associated with Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. This exciting project will refurbish and extend the Gallery, transforming it into world-class cultural destination and a centre of excellence for the study of Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.
When the Gallery reopens in July 2012 in time for the Olympics, more of the outstanding collection will be on display and it will be reinterpreted to appeal to all ages and backgrounds. There will be a new learning centre, a research library and a temporary exhibition space, as well as a new website and an excellent tea room and shop.
Architect’s impression of the rear of the Gallery showing the new extension to the left.

Image: Pringle Richards Sharratt

Visitors will learn in the main displays about Morris’s early years in Oxford, his association with the Pre-Raphaelites and the foundation and enduring success of Morris & Co. Hands-on, interactive exhibits will invite people of all ages to explore how products were designed and made, emphasising Morris’s preference for traditional craft techniques. They will also find out about Morris’s career as a writer and campaigner and his lasting influence as father of the Arts and Crafts movement.
The permanent exhibitions will be complemented by an ambitious programme of temporary exhibitions exploring aspects of Morris’s legacy – both historically and in contemporary art and design. In addition, a radical programme of Activities and Events will engage a wider, more diverse audience, whilst an innovative Schools Programme will inspire the next generation of artists, designers and makers.
The Development Project has been made possible by a grant of £1.52 million by the Heritage Lottery fund matched with £1.5 million from the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Funding has also been secured from a number of trusts and foundations and the Friends of the William Morris Gallery. With just 12 months left to go until reopening, the Gallery team have £850,000 left to raise. To find out more, including how you can get involved, visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/william-morris.

For further information please contact:

Vicky Carroll
Museum, Gallery and Archives Manager
Tel: (44) 020 8496 4390
Email: vicky.carroll@walthamforest.gov.uk

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