A Walthamstow revelation: what William Morris brought to Bauhaus



WILLIAM MORRIS and Bauhaus are not names that easily go together. The great Victorian-era English designer was in love with not just craft but its look: he was a romantic. Walter Gropius and fellow modernists seized on 20th-century machine culture, as it is known: that was their love.

As often, however, an exhibition turns up to challenge a popular view. Walthamstow’s William Morris Gallery, in its “Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus”, explores the relationship between the English Arts and Crafts movement and the trend-starting Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Germany. 

From Bill to Bauhaus: the underrated gallery in Walthamstow, top and above
Morris © William Morris Gallery
Morris man: the great Walthamstow-born creative © William Morris Gallery

The Walthamstow museum, England’s only public gallery devoted to the designer, craftsman and cuckolded radical socialist “Bill” Morris, says: “…to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in 1919, the exhibition will bring together over 60 objects from nine international and domestic lenders, some of which have never been displayed in the UK.”

Two contemporary links bulk out the ex: a London designer, Mary Katrantzou, shows fashion joining Bauhaus prints with Morris-inspired patterns and artist Nicholas Pankhurst has created two big Bauhaus works for the Gallery and the nearby Walthamstow Wetlands.

David Altheer 261119

* William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4PP (020 8496 4390), Tuesdays-Sundays, 10am-5pm, to 26 January 2020. Free, although a hint may be made for a £5 donation.

* Pictures on this page have been supplied. 

* Backstory: Bow’s Balfron Tower pop-up; Breaking glass: the gone Goddard and Gibbs

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