May Morris (1862-1938)

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition May Morris: Art and Life  (William Morris Gallery 7 October 2017 - 28 January 2018), Lynn Hulse has written an article for the current issue of Inspirations Magazine (no. 95) on William Morris's younger daughter, May,  recognised today as a leading figure in the British Arts and Crafts movement and a major exponent of art needlework. The article contains beautiful examples of her work, some of which are displayed in the exhibition.

Lovers of May Morris should also keep a look out for two beautifully illustrated volumes which have just been published:

May Morris: Art & Life. New Perspectives, edited by Lynn Hulse (Friends of the William Morris Gallery, September 2017)

Building on the scholarship of Jan Marsh and textile historian Linda Parry, the conference explored May Morris's life and work from many different angles. This collection of papers offers new insights into the business practices of Morris & Co.'s embroidery department under May's management, her intellectual and artistic repsonse to medieval embroidery, her career as a teacher and educator, her support for other female artists through the Women's Guild of Arts and the reception of her lecture tour of the United States. New perspectives are also offered on her family relationships, political outlook and the active and influential role she played in preserving and shaping William Morris's legacy. Contributors include: Jan Marsh, Anna Mason, Rowan Bain, Catherine White, Hanne Faurby & Jenny Lister, Lynn Hulse, Annette Carruthers, Helen Bratt-Wyton, Helen Elletson, Margaretta Frederick, Mary Greensted, Kathy Haslam and Julia Dudkiewicz.

Copies of the book are available from the William Morris Gallery and from Roger Huddle of the Friends of the William Morris Gallery, telephone 0044 (0)7973 443030, price £20 + p&p.

Anna Mason, et al., May Morris: Arts & Crafts Designer (Thames & Hudson/V&A Publishing, September 2017), preface by Lynn Hulse

This book, and accompanying exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, covers the full range of May Morris’s, work, from watercolours and designs to exquisite embroideries, book covers, costume and jewellery. It offers new insights into May’s personal life and relationships, her social activism and her efforts to support other professional women who sought to make a living as artists and designers.

Available from Amazon and the Victoria and Albert Museum bookshop, price  £24.95

Embroidery kit

To accompany the exhibition, Lynn Hulse has created a handmade silk work kit inspired by May Morris's design Maids of Honour. Stitched in Soie d'Alger silks on a tussar silk ground, the design is worked in Long and Short, Satin, Stem Stitch and French Knot. 

Maids of Honour is available from the William Morris Gallery shop, price £59.95. Tel: 020 8496 4390 (Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm), Email: 

Copyright Lynn Hulse, 2017

Embroidery: A Maker’s Guide (Thames & Hudson/V&A Publishing, 2017)

Containing 15 beautiful step-by-step projects for crafters at all levels, inspired by the V&A Collections, including a crewel work cushion created by Lynn Hulse after William Morris's Artichoke design.

Available from Amazon and the Victoria and Albert Museum bookshop, price £16.95

Coming soon!

Ornamental Embroidery is delighted to announce that we will soon be branching out into publishing with a new series of books on the history and development of embroidered textiles and design under the imprint OE Publications. The first book in the series, The Embroidered Furnishings of the Lethbridge Sisters, c. 1899-1922, will be available in 2017. For more information, click on the drop-down link 'The Lethbridge Sisters'.