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

William Morris & Red House

April 21, 2018 14.15 at The Coach House, Kelmscott House

Red House was the only house commissioned by William Morris and the first independent architectural work of his close friend and collaborator, Philip Webb. For five intense years from 1860-65, it was a place of halcyon days – happy family life, loyal friendship, good humoured competition, and the jovial campaign of decorating, furnishing the house and designing the garden  to meet his emergent taste for strong colour, complex pattern making and medieval inspired furniture and gardens.   Drawing on recent research this talk will explore Red House’s role as an ambitious and critical chapter in Morris’s design history and the vital collaboration of Webb, Burne-Jones, Rossetti  and their circle in realising Morris’s dream for his house.


Tessa Wild is a curator and writer specialising in the nineteenth century. 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 and garden. She is a trustee of the Emery Walker Trust and her book, William Morris and his Palace of Art – Architecture, Interiors and Design at Red House, will be published in December 2017.

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