Elaborate vines, leaves and buds symbolize growth and continuous life in William Morris’ exquisite “Tree of Life” tapestry. Disgruntled by the drabness of mid-19th century mass-produced tapestries, Morris (1834 – 1896) obtained a loom and taught himself to weave, eventually establishing Morris & Company, a design firm which produced textiles, stained glass and high quality tapestries. With Morris & Company, he rejuvenated tapestry-making as a distinctive and dynamic art form, creating as many as 150 richly detailed patterns.
William Morris (1834 – 1896), a forerunner of the British arts and crafts movement, set design standards for wallpaper and fabrics. Founder of renowned Victorian designers, Morris & Company, he produced exceptional textiles, stained glass and tapestries. Disappointed by the drabness of mass-produced, mid-19th century tapestries, Morris obtained a loom and taught himself to weave the type of tapestries he visualized. With Morris & Company, he re-established tapestry-making as a vital, distinctive art form, and left a legacy of technique and craftsmanship in 150 intricate tapestry patterns.