Perpetuating the memory of one of the greatest men of the Victorian age

Coffee with a Curator – online talk

April 20, 2021 11.00-11.30

Join Curator Helen Elletson online to explore some of the fascinating objects in The William Morris Society’s collection.

Our Easter-themed collection highlight for April is the beautiful but relatively little-known Lamb and Flag by Philip Webb. Designed in 1868 for the altar frontal of Llandaff Cathedral, the Society’s three original watercolours illustrate Webb’s beautiful draughtsmanship in embroidery design and his ability to communicate this to the embroiderer, Bessie Burden, who was William Morris’s sister in law. Like her sister Jane, Bessie was a highly skilled needlewoman, and was described by Morris as having ‘complete mastery of the theory and practice of all kinds of needlework’, and as ‘a first class needle woman’ skilled in both theory and practice. Her reputation was such that in the 1870’s she became a tutor of embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework and had the rare distinction of having a stitch, the ‘Burden’ named after her. As well as examining the stunning collaboration between Philip Webb and Bessie Burden, we’ll put their Lamb and Flag embroidery in context by looking at the other magnificent works of art at Llandaff. From Rossetti’s Nativity triptych and Burne-Jones’s Day of Creation to Morris & Company stained glass windows, Llandaff has been called a treasure trove of arts and crafts masterpieces.

We have a limited number of tickets for this event. If you make a booking but find you are unable to attend, please cancel your booking to allow another person to attend the talk. 

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