May Morris Dame Alice Mary Godman
May Morris, British, Linen; plain weave with silk embroidery; 67.3 cm (26 1/2 inches) (length), Farago Art Fund 85.200
This cushion cover in a pattern called ‘Tudor Rose’ was designed by May Morris, youngest daughter of artist and reformer William Morris (1834-1896). Embroidery became a particularly important vehicle in William Morris’s attempts to raise the quality of decorative arts after industrialization had led to poor design, shoddy construction and a production-line mentality. Embroidery engaged both the mind and the hand of the sewer and in the process achieved Morris’s dream of a true partnership of designer and craftsperson working harmoniously with equal skill and creativity. The piece was executed with vegetable-dyed silk yarns by Dame Alice Mary Godman of South Lodge, Lower Beeding, Horsham, Sussex.