The William Morris Society in the U.S. is pleased to award the 2020 Dunlap Fellowship to Anna Flinchbaugh. Ms. Flinchbaugh holds a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College. She is currently a candidate in Pratt Institute's M.S.L.I.S. and M.A. History of Art and Design program. Her research focuses on late nineteenth and early twentieth century textile design history. Here is Ms. Flinchbaugh’s summary of her project, “The Mycorrhizal Morris: A Network Analysis of the Morris & Co. Embroidery Workshop”:
Cushion Cover (ca 1900) embroidered by May Morris.
This work is part of the Botanical Expressions exhibition
at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
Drawing upon my roots in anthropology as well as my recent experiences with linked data in library and information sciences, my research in design history is centered on the deep conviction that more nuanced understandings of aesthetic impulses and influences are made possible through the examination of holistic communities than through exemplary individuals. While William Morris was certainly a singular genius, a true understanding of the reach of his ideas requires looking not simply at his own accomplishments, but at the wider network of artists, makers, suppliers, and customers that he brought together. The Morris & Co. Embroidery Workshop provides an ideal site to begin this web-weaving. My previous academic work within Pratt Institute’s History of Art and Design graduate program has revolved heavily around nineteenth century textiles and embroidery, including research on May Morris and floral wallpapers for Anca Lasc’s Daughters of Eve: Glamorized Femininity, Fashion, and Interiors From Versailles To Today and on the Medieval roots of the art needlework movement for Frima Hofrichter’s Art by Women: 15th Century to the Present. I recently returned to research on May and William Morris in my work as a curatorial intern for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum’s upcoming exhibition Botanical Expressions, a project that solidified for me the feedback loops between natural environment and artistic expression that underpin the work of the Morris & Co. Embroidery Workshop.