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Wallpaper and Death

An impoverished Oscar Wilde, his health ruined by his time in Reading Gaol, wandered Europe during the last years of his life.  From a dingy room in Paris, he complained to friends about his circumstances with wit and pathos, keeping one eye on aesthetics.  Ailing in a first-floor room in what is now the L’Hotel …

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William Morris Society at the Morgan Library

Each year during the annual Modern Language Association Convention, the William Morris Society sponsors one or two sessions of papers and also takes a field trip to a local arts and crafts site. This year I organized a special session on Pre-Raphaelites in the Pierpont Morgan Library, so we visited the Morgan for a private …

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Dunlap Award Winner Shyam Patel

The William Morris Society in the U.S. is pleased to award the 2018 Dunlap Fellowship to Shyam Patel, a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of California, Irvine. His dissertation concerns the relationships among moral perfectionism, political utopianism, and aesthetic organicism in the work of British authors and artists (including William Morris) in the …

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The William Morris Society at MLA, New York City, January 5, 2018

Our late colleague and former William Morris Society president Jack Walsdorf, whom we lost this past summer, wrote of a past Modern Language Association convention, “This will be a great time for Morris lovers from across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. to bond in friendship.” Jack’s comment speaks to the WMS’s history of forging …

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Lawrence Alma-Tadema and William Morris

A recent conference at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, “Alma-Tadema: Antiquity at Home and On Screen,” coincided with the appearance of an exhibition of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s work at Leighton House Museum entitled “Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity.”  Organized by Peter Trippi, Elizabeth Prettejohn, and Ivo Blom, the exhibition …

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William Morris: Designing an Earthly Paradise

            The Cleveland Museum of Art’s new exhibition “William Morris: Designing an Earthly Paradise” opened last month and is scheduled to run through November 11, 2018. The exhibition includes textiles, wallpaper, and carpets; a selection of Kelmscott Press publications; and a May Morris embroidery on loan from the Cranbrook Art Museum.             Morris was a …

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Local Socialism in the Country: Morris and the Recuperation of the Folk Mote

Having grown up in rural Vermont, I have been enthralled with William Morris’s News from Nowhere since first reading it. Yet “rural” Vermont isn’t quite right. Like Morris’s Nowhere in the years immediately after the revolution, my hometown was marked by both recently collapsed industry and continued agriculture. Unlike, say, Middlemarch – the novel that …

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Call for Applications – Joseph R. Dunlap Memorial Fellowship

The William Morris Society in the United States is calling for applications for the 2018 Joseph R. Dunlap Memorial Fellowship. The deadline is December 15, 2017. The Dunlap Fellowship supports scholarly and creative work about William Morris.  The fellowship offers funding of $1000 or more for research and other expenses, including travel to conferences and …

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