William Morris was an English artist, designer, writer and socialist famous for his revolutionary wallpaper and textile designs, fantasy fiction, medievalism and socialism. His notable works include ‘The Earthly Paradise’, ‘A Dream of John Ball’, ‘the utopian News from Nowhere’, and the fantasy romance ‘The Well at the World's End’. Morris was the founder of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings which campaigned against damage inflicted due to architectural restoration. He also founded Socialist League along with the association of Social Democratic Federation (SDF), which revolved around Marxism and influences of anarchism. William Morris was instrumental in the revival of the textile industry and methods of production during the Victorian Era. The William Morris society was formed to look after his great legacy. Morris actively spoke on issues which evoked motivation, inspiration, individualism, wisdom and imagination. We have curated William’s quotes and thoughts from his speeches, writings, and observations that he made on different things and issues. Zoom through these interesting quotes from this legendary textile designer and socialist from the 19th century Britain.
So long as the system of competition in the production and exchange of the means of life goes on, the degradation of the arts will go on; and if that system is to last for ever, then art is doomed, and will surely die; that is to say, civilization will die.
A man at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul as well as of his body. Memory and imagination help him as he works.
I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.
Happy as we are, times may alter; we may be bitten with some impulse towards change, and many things may seem too wonderful for us to resist, too exciting not to catch at, if we do not know that they are but phases of what has been before and withal ruinous, deceitful, and sordid.
We are only the trustees for those who come after us.
Nothing useless can be truly beautiful.
Now let us go, love, down the winding stair,
With fingers intertwined...
It is right and necessary that all should have work to do which shall be worth doing and be of itself pleasant to do, and which should be done under such conditions as would make it neither over-wearisome nor over-anxious.
I cannot suppose there is anybody here who would think it either a good life, or an amusing one, to sit with one's hands before one doing nothing - to live like a gentleman, as fools call it.