17.4.13

WILLIAM MORRIS GALLERY

William Morris Gallery
At the weekend we travelled to the far end of the Victoria line to visit the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. We made the trip specially to see the David Bailey East End Faces exhibition but didn't quite realise what was in store for us when we arrived.
William Morris Prints
The gallery is situated right on a busy main road but my god is the building a beauty, I can just imagine how beautiful it was when it was first built - with no traffic disturbing the peace. Inside, the rooms are broken up in to different stages of Morris' life with his prints almost subtly everywhere you look- including the carpet! The house is so old and quaint and really well looked after, its currently a finalist for the Art Fund museum of the year award and I can definitely see why. Prior to my visit I knew a tiny bit about William Morris and definitely knew his prints but after visiting I have learnt he is one crafty man to truly admire. I love that he was so good at every craft he turned his hand to, and as I was mooching around I learnt that because he didn't like the way the Victorians printed books, he created his own printing press, of course!
The David Bailey exhibition was pretty small, in a room situated next to the cafe but after being so engrossed in learning about William Morris I nearly forgot to visit it all together! I loved the portrait of Jean Shrimpton casually posing in Bailey's mum and dads hallway, such a beauty.
William Morris Gallery
The grounds at the back of the house are a lovely place to walk around (probably nicer when the sun is shining) and are joined on to a sports hub with a cafe, it would be a great place to take a picnic in summer.

Even if there isn't a special exhibition that takes your fancy, I can't recommend this gallery enough. It is such an inspiring space to learn about Morris and how dedicated to his crafts he really was and unbelievably, its all free. London, I love you!

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