The art of wallpaper: Morris & Co. in context

Applications are now invited for the Society's online meeting on Saturday 25th February 2023, starting at 6pm (London time). Non-members are welcome.

Our speaker will be Mary Schoeser.

The talk begins with fancy French papers – the most fashionable in 1834, the year that William Morris was born. By the 1840s these were rejected by British leaders of the design reform movement. Their influence on Morris, as well as the impact of Japanese design, are shown in this in-depth look at Morris & Co. Included are patterns by May Morris and John Henry Dearle, as well as C.F.A. Voysey and other Arts & Crafts designers. The Morrisian legacy is also touched upon with regard to the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society and the role played by the Sanderson Design Group archive.

Mary Schoeser is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the V&A, focusing on 19th century silks in Spitalfields and the East of England. She has worked as an advisor for English Heritage and the National Trust, among others. Formerly Archivist for Warner & Sons, since 1991 she has been consultant archivist to firms such as Liberty of London and has advised museums in Britain and America, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her curatorial projects range from the permanent Elizabeth Hoare Embroidery Gallery at Liverpool Cathedral (opened 1992) to most recently contributing to "Chintz: cotton in bloom" at the Fashion & Textile Museum, London (2021) and the Dovecot's showing of "The art of wallpaper". She lectures widely.

Mary has published books including World textiles: a concise history (Thames & Hudson, 2003/2023), Silk (Yale University Press, 2007) and Textiles: the art of mankind (T&H, 2012/2013). Her work on wallpapers includes Sanderson: the essence of English decoration (T&H, 2010) and The art of wallpaper: Morris & Co. in context (ACC Art Books, 2023).


This event is free for members. A charge of £5 per head will be made to non-members.

Joining instructions

This will be an online-only presentation, via Zoom. Instructions on how to join will be provided when you book.

How to apply

Please complete our online application form.

Mary Schoeser

Our speaker, Mary Schoeser

Page last amended 12th December 2022