Designed by William Morris British
Manufactory Morris & Company

Not on view

As one of the forerunners of modern design, Morris took much of his inspiration from the arts and crafts of the past. His disgust with the inferiority of many Victorian industrially made textiles, which he found lacking in both quality and appropriateness of design, led him to study the aesthetics and techniques of earlier historic examples-from tapestries to embroideries. This knowledge enabled him to take inspiration from the past while still creating for contemporary needs. Thus, a two-dimensional design such as "Kennet" could be—and was—successfully used for wallpaper, woven silks, and printed fabrics. The effect in each medium, however, was altered by choices in color combinations (bold or subtle), materials (shiny or matte), and textures (flat or pile). While the undulating flower stalks look back to Italian fifteenth- and sixteenth-century velvet designs, they also presage of Art Nouveau.

Kennet, Designed by William Morris (British, Walthamstow, London 1834–1896 Hammersmith, London), Cotton / indigo discharge and block-printed, British, Merton Abbey

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.