May Morris (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Arts & Crafts Designer

Anna Mason, Jan Marsh, Jenny Lister, Rowan Bain, Hanne Faurby


The first fully illustrated and comprehensive introduction to May Morris's work as an artist, designer and embroiderer, published in association with the V&A


May Morris (1862–1938), younger daughter of William Morris, was a significant figure in the British Arts and Crafts movement and a pioneer of ‘art embroidery’. She ran the embroidery department of Morris & Co., as well as designing textiles, wallpapers and jewellery. May was also an influential teacher and lectured in the UK and America.

May Morris: Arts & Crafts Designer is the first publication to present the full range of May Morris’s work and reveals her exceptional skill and originality. It draws together her designs, exquisite embroideries, watercolours, costume and jewellery from museums around the world, and in particular the rich collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the William Morris Gallery, London. The book contains more than 180 items in colour and detailed information on their materials and provenance compiled by leading experts. There are also new insights into May’s personal life and relationships, her social activism and her support for other craftswomen.

This authoritative and illuminating study places May Morris, whose reputation has been overshadowed by that of her father, firmly among the leading British designer-makers of the Arts and Crafts movement.

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'Lavishly illustrated'
The Spectator

Further Details


Format: Hardback

Size: 27.0 x 20.5 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 210

Publication date: 28 September 2017

ISBN: 9780500480212

Contents List

Foreword by Jan Marsh • 1. Sketches and Watercolours • 2. May Morris and Morris & Co: Wallpapers and Embroidery • 3. Book Covers and Designs • 4. May Morris and the Art of Dress • 5. Jewelry and Metalwork

About the Author

Anna Mason was curator and manager at the William Morris Gallery from 2009 to 2016. She is the author of articles and guides to the collection and was the lead curator of the ‘May Morris: Art and Life’ exhibition, held at the gallery in 2017.

Jan Marsh is the author of Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, Jane and May Morris and biographies of Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. She has also curated exhibitions on 19th-century art and artists, including ‘Black Victorians: Black People in British Art 1800–1900’, held at Manchester City Art Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2005. She is president of the William Morris Society and a Trustee of the Brangwyn Gift at the William Morris Gallery.

Jenny Lister is a curator of textiles and fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum, specializing in the nineteenth century. Her publications include The V&A Gallery of Fashion and London Society Fashion 1905–1925: The Wardrobe of Heather Firbank.

Rowan Bain is curator at the William Morris Gallery and was formerly assistant curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is the author of Be Magnificent: Walthamstow School of Art 1957–1967 and was a contributor to the book Shoes: Pleasure and Pain.

Hanne Faurby is assistant curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum specializing in nineteenth-century design. Her research encompasses textiles, fashion, jewellery and embellishment with particular interest in social-reform influences on the creative industry.