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An Earthly Paradise: William Morris and The Thames

February 1 2019 - July 14 2019

An Earthly Paradise: William Morris and The Thames


The late William Morris was one of the greatest and most highly celebrated designers of the 19th century. Creator of poetry, books, textiles, prints and so much more, Morris’ work, to this day, is still very much integral and inspiring to the creative world of design. But what inspired him? In this new exhibition hosted at The River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, the fascinating story behind one of his greatest inspirations – the River Thames – will be thoroughly explored.

The exhibition, supported by London’s V&A, the British Library and Kelmscott Manor, will bring the River Thames to life and explore Morris’ fascination with the iconic river running through the heart of London. Visitors will be able to view exclusive, never-before-seen artefacts and pieces of work where his inspiration is apparent. This will be denoted in the countless prints, textiles and books on show.

This story is one that has not been told before and will revive William Morris’s brilliant works and shine a light on his intriguing passion for the river that played such an integral part in his life. Particular parts of the exhibit of interest are Morris’s own spectacles, fishing kit and pipe (the quintessentially British designer was a keen angler), an embroidery 2.7 meters long, featuring passages from his poem The Earthly Paradise, for which this exhibit gets its name, hand-carved wooden printing blocks that show Morris’s celebrated and unique printing method ‘indigo discharge’, and his original designs for his infamous textiles which were named after tributaries of the Thames such as Windrush and Evenlode.

Whether you’re a hardcore fan of William Morris’s work or not, visit this exhibition for a deep look into one of Britain’s greatest creators and one of his most important inspirations, and enjoy being whisked on a journey telling the story of the designer, and the river.

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris


1 February – 14 July


The River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1BF


Find out more at rrm.co.uk




February 1 2019
July 14 2019
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The River & Rowing Museum
Mill Meadows
Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1BF United Kingdom
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01491 415600
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