|Leslie Harwood at her Exhibition.|
Last month, residents of Milwaukee could stroll down to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art History Gallery to see the exhibit “William Morris’ Earthly Paradise: Precursor to the Private Press Movement”. This was curated by Leslie Harwood, the 2012 winner of the William Morris Society Fellowship. We've written about her project here; the award went towards installation costs, and printing the lovely catalogue.
With the exhibition and catalogue, Harwood argued convincingly that the failure of the Chiswick Press to produce satisfactory trial pages of Morris and Burne-Jones's illustrated Earthy Paradise, followed by the failure of that whole project, strongly motivated Morris to found the Kelmscott Press. She also highlighted the influence of the Kelmscott Press over subsequent Arts & Crafts private presses.
The event showed off the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Special Collections, including The Earthly Paradise printed by the Kelmscott Press. Another crown jewel of the exhibition, loaned by the Milwaukee Public Library, was a fifteenth-century Venetian book (Hypnerotomachia Poliphili) that inspired Morris and Burne- Jones in their designs for the Kelmscott Press.
Harwood's illustrated catalogue is like an exhibit unto itself, and it gives a thorough background to the original Earthly Paradise project and the Kelmscott Press. It also considers the Vale Press, the Essex House Press, the Elston Press, and the Golden Cockerel Press in relation to the Kelmscott Press. Electronic versions of the catalogue are available free of charge, just contact Ms. Harwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click 'Read More' to see photos of the event: