A comprehensive new study of Red House, Bexleyheath, the only house commissioned by William Morris and the first independent architectural work of his close friend, Philip Webb.
Morris moved to the house at the age of 26, with an independent income and a head brimming with ideas. Red House, together with its Pre-Raphaelite garden, stands as the physical embodiment of his exuberant spirit, youthful ambition, passionate medievalism, creativity and great sense of possibility.
For five intense years from 1860-5, it was a place of halcyon days – happy family life, loyal friendship, decorating – furnishing the house and designing the garden.
Drawing on a wealth of new physical evidence, this book argues that Red House constitutes an ambitious and critical chapter in Morris’s design history.
The Author Tessa Wild is a curator and writer specialising in the nineteenth century.
Educated at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, she worked as a curator with the National Trust from 1998 to 2015.
She was curator of Red House from its acquisition by the National Trust in 2003 until 2015, during which time she led a major research programme on the house.
Tessa has lectured and published widely on the subject and was awarded a Paul Mellon Mid-Career Fellowship in 2016 to undertake further research on Morris and Red House.
‘This summer a new exhibition at Standen House & Garden explores the inspiration behind the popular patterns of flowers and birds in designs by Arts & Crafts firm Morris & Co. From Saturday 1 June until Sunday 10 November 2019. See the inspiration behind Morris & Co.’s designs at Standen.’
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