William Morris and his Palace of Art is a comprehensive new study of Red House, Bexleyheath; the only house commissioned by William Morris and the first independent architectural work of his close friend, Philip Webb. Morris moved in to Red House as an ebullient young man of 26, with an independent income and a head brimming with ideas and the persistent question of 'how best to live?
Red House, together with its Pre-Raphaelite garden, stands as the physical embodiment of his exuberant spirit, youthful ambition, passionate medievalism, creativity and great sense of possibility. For five intense years from 1860-5, it was a place of halcyon days - happy family life, loyal friendship, good humoured competition, and the jovial campaign of decorating; furnishing the house and designing the garden.
Drawing on a wealth of new physical evidence, this book argues that Red House constitutes an ambitious and critical chapter in his design history. It will re-consider the inspiration it provided for the founding of 'the Firm' of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (later Morris & Co.), in 1861, and the vital collaboration of Webb, Burne-Jones, Rossetti and their intimate circle in realising Morris's dream for his house.
Philip Wilson Publishers
Country of Publication:
15 July 2018
1 Introduction2 Morris before Red House 3 Designing and building the house4 Decorating and furnishing the house5 Hall & staircase6 Waiting Room, Lower Passage and Bedroom7 Dining Room8 Drawing Room9 Main Bedroom & Dressing Room10 Studio & Upper Passage 11 Nursery, Bedroom and Passage12 Service wing 13 The Garden14 The Firm15 Relinquishing Red House16 Red House after Morris APPENDIX Colour palette
Tessa Wild is a curator and writer specialising in the nineteenth century. Educated at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, she worked as a curator with the National Trust from 1998 to 2015. She was curator of Red House from its acquisition by the National Trust in 2003 until 2015, during which time she led a major research programme on the house. She has lectured and published widely on the subject and was awarded a Paul Mellon Mid-Career Fellowship in 2016 to undertake further research on Morris and Red House.
Reviews for William Morris and his Palace of Art: Architecture, Interiors and Design at Red House
Enlivened by a profusion of fine color and historic photographs, a few digital reconstructions, relevant letters from members of the Morris group, a running account of ongoing restoration research, and Wild's informed speculation about lost or missing artifacts. The most gratifying aspect of the book, however, is Wild's ability to capture the way that Morris's energy motivated and consolidated the group ... Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. * CHOICE *