Coffee with a Curator – online talk
March 16, 2021
The Two Honeysuckles
The month of March sees the birthdays of both William and May Morris, just one day apart; William was born on 24th March 1834 and May on 25th March 1862. It therefore seems appropriate for this months talk to focus on a design that unites them in having an identical name. It is also a rare occasion when two designers for Morris and Company created a pattern with the same title.
William Morris designed his Honeysuckle for printed cotton in 1876, writing ‘it is the most important we have or are likely to have.’ May agreed, describing it as ‘the most truly Morrisian in character of all his pattern-making … the most mysterious and poetic – the very symbol of a garden tangle.’
The other Honeysuckle of our talk was created for wallpaper and was designed by May Morris in 1883. The Society is fortunate to have the original watercolour design for Honeysuckle as well as the printed wallpaper in all four colourways produced by Morris and Company.
Both cottons and wallpapers were hand block printed and we’ll look at the traditional techniques involved at creating these two beautiful designs, as well as exploring Honeysuckle in a wider context of other Morris and Company products.
The Society’s two Honeysuckles are stylistically very different, nevertheless, confusion over the attribution of the wallpaper design still occurs, making it a fascinating subject to research. What is clear is that both Honeysuckles remain enduring popular and are a testament to the skill of their respective designers.
This is a free talk, but tickets must be booked through Eventbrite. Places are limited; if you make a booking but find you are unable to attend, we would be grateful if you would cancel your booking to allow another person to attend.
Donations are welcome and you can add a donation when you book your ticket. Thank you!