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Art & Design

May Morris, ca. 1890, Farago Art Fund

May Morris Dame Alice Mary Godman

cushion cover

May Morris, designer British, 1862-1938
Dame Alice Mary Godman, embroiderer
English, d. 1944
ca. 1890
Linen; plain weave with silk embroidery
Length: 67.3 cm (26 1/2 inches)
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.

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