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William Morris and Kehinde Wiley

After Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Barack Obama was unveiled at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2017, the already-successful artist received unprecedented attention. And, in a roundabout way, Kehinde Wiley’s success is also bringing more attention to the designs and general aesthetic of William Morris. This fall, in the first Wiley exhibition …

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Unexpected Encounters with William Morris

Over the past few months, I’ve had several unexpected encounters with William Morris.  Flipping through a magazine or perusing a website, I’ll notice something familiar in the background, usually unnoted in the article, that looks like a Morris design.  It is a bit like seeing an old friend in an unfamiliar place—you’re not sure it …

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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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