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William Morris quotes and sayings on art, design, giving, earth, imagination, life, socialism, politics, past, print, craft, nature etc.

42 Beautiful William Morris Quotes That Throw Light On Art, Design & Other Things

Quick Facts

Famous As: Textile Designer, Poet

Born On: March 24, 1834

Died On: October 3, 1896

Born In: Walthamstow, England

Died At Age: 62

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.

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If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

William Morris

Give me love and work - these two only.

William Morris

Not on one strand are all life's jewels strung.

William Morris

The past is not dead, it is living in us, and will be alive in the future which we are now helping to make.

William Morris

To do nothing but grumble and not to act - that is throwing away one's life.

William Morris

I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.

William Morris

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.

William Morris

...I do not want art for a few; any more than education for a few; or freedom for a few...

William Morris

It took me years to understand that words are often as important as experience, because words make experience last.

William Morris

History has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed; art has remembered the people, because they created.

William Morris

I am going, if I can, to be an architect, and I am too old already, and there is no time to lose.

William Morris

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.

William Morris

The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

William Morris

We shall not be happy unless we live like good animals, unless we enjoy the exercise of the ordinary functions of life: eating, sleeping, loving, walking, running, swimming, riding, sailing.

William Morris

The reward of labour is life. Is that not enough?

William Morris

I want a real revolution, a real change in society: society, a great organic mass of well-regulated forces used for the bringing-about a happy life for all.

William Morris

If you cannot learn to love real art, at least learn to hate sham art and reject it.

William Morris

No man is good enough to be another's master.

William Morris

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.

William Morris

Apart from the desire to produce beautiful things, the leading passion of my life has been and is hatred of modern civilization.

William Morris

We are living in a epoch where there is combat between commercialism, or the system of reckless waste, and communism, or the system of neighbourly common sense.

William Morris

Nothing should be made by man's labour which is not worth making, or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers.

William Morris

How often it consoles me to think of barbarism once more flooding the world, and real feelings and passions, however rudimentary, taking the place of our wretched hypocrisies.

William Morris

It is the childlike part of us that produces works of the imagination. When we were children time passed so slow with us that we seemed to have time for everything.

William Morris

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.

William Morris

We are only the trustees for those who come after us.

William Morris

Nothing useless can be truly beautiful.

William Morris

Now let us go, love, down the winding stair, With fingers intertwined...

William Morris

Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

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.

William Morris

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.

William Morris

...[Nature] ever bearing witness against man that he has deliberately chosen ugliness instead of beauty...

William Morris

If a chap can't compose an epic poem while he's weaving tapestry, he had better shut up, he'll never do any good at all.

William Morris

I can't enter into politico-social subjects with any interest, for on the whole, I see that things are in a muddle, and I have no power or vocation to set them right in ever so little a degree.

William Morris

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"- 1834

William Morris

Love makes clear the eyes that else would never see: "Love makes blind the eyes to all but me and thee.

William Morris

I don't remember being taught to read, and by the time I was seven years old, I had read a very great many books, good, bad, and indifferent.

William Morris

Let some word reach my ears and touch my heart,

William Morris

The lost and found the Cause hath crowned, The Day of Days is here.

William Morris

Count on, rest not, for hope is dead.

William Morris