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Lynn Hulse specialises in historic needlework, c. 1200-1920 and lectures regularly at conferences, museums, galleries and other institutions across the UK, Ireland and North America. If you are interested in booking her for a talk (in person or via zoom), click on this link to email:

Forthcoming lectures include:


The William Morris Society of Canada

 Saturday, 25 March 2023, tbc

"Gardening with silk and gold thread": botanical imagery in the work of the art embroidery designer May Morris

The development of the English cottage garden in the hands of the Irish horticulturalist and journalist William Robinson (1838-1935) had a marked effect on the textile arts during the final decades of the nineteenth century. Author of The Wild Garden (1870) and The English Flowered Garden (1883), Robinson rejected the artificiality and formality of High Victorian pattern gardening in favour of naturalised plantings of perennial shrubs and climbers. His revolutionary approach was reflected in the choice of botanical imagery featured in the work of many Arts and Crafts designers, including one of the leading exponents of art embroidery: May Morris (1862-1938). 


A constant theme in the work of May Morris is her love of English meadow plants and cottage garden flowers. Throughout her life, she made detailed studies of plant life to familiarise herself ‘with all the possible peculiarities and diversities of such things.’ But like many other writers on art embroidery, she recognised that the designer’s work ‘should merely recall nature, not absolutely copy it’ (Decorative Needlework, 1893). Morris’s approach to conventional design will be examined through her work for the embroidery department at Morris & Co. and her special commissions and gifts for family and friends.  

Image:  Scrapbook cover, design attributed to May Morris,  c. 1890s. 

School of Textiles and Christ Church Main Hall,
26 Stoneham Street, Coggeshall, Essex CO6 1UH

Friday, 12 May 2023, 14:30-16:45

May Morris: Art & Life

This is a special chance to hear about the life and work of May Morris, who was influential both in her own right and as the guardian of the work of her father, William Morris.

Price includes refreshments.


To book, contact Diane:

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