Author, artist, manufacturer, political activist, and more, William Morris preferred to describe his profession as “designer.” Reacting against the Industrial Revolution’s proliferation of ugly, inferior goods and, worse, its dehumanization of work, Morris believed the purpose of design was “to give people pleasure in the things they must perforce use [and] make.” His textile patterns were inspired by an interest in medievalism and a belief that two-dimensional objects should utilize flat, stylized designs. An 1883 sketch for this textile is in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Morris & Company, textile panel. 1883-1917. 2005.102.