William Morris: Let Beauty Rule!
I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few or freedom for a few.
- William Morris,1877.
Reykjavík Art Museum proudly presents the first big exhibition in Iceland featuring the influential English artist, William Morris (1834–1896).
Morris was an artist, thinker, author and social critic who greatly influenced his time and left a visual heritage and ideology which continue to influence us today. Morris’s connection to Iceland is interesting, he visited the country twice during his career, in 1871 and 1873. Morris was greatly affected by his visits to Iceland, the landscape and the culture fascinated him. He is said to have considered himself a man of the north, as was evident in his incessant interest in Icelandic literature, but also in his unpolished appearance.
This exhibition is a collaboration with William Morris Gallery in London and Millesgården in Stockholm. It has also been installed in Denmark.
This is the first exhibition in Iceland to cover Morris’s diverse career. In addition to previous installations of this exhibition, this one will include a special chapter on the Icelandic connection. On display in the exhibition are original drawings of Morris’s patterns; wallpapers and work processes; paintings; drawings; stained glass windows; furniture and wall-hangings.
The Icelandic chapter of the exhibition will include artefacts which Morris brought back from Iceland and influenced his imagery, for example carved horns.