Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and his Legacy by Fiona MacCarthy

Anarchy & beauty: William Morris & his legacy, 1860-1960Anarchy & beauty: William Morris & his legacy, 1860-1960

MacCarthy, Fiona, author; National Portrait Gallery (Great Britain), publisher

William Morris (1834-96) regarded beauty as a basic human birthright. In this fascinating book, which accompanies a major exhibition, Morris’ biographer Fiona MacCarthy looks at how his highly original and generous vision of a new form of society in which art could flourish has reverberated through the decades.

In 1860 Morris moved into the now famous Red House at Bexleyheath in Kent. Here his ideas found practical expression in its decoration, undertaken with the help of his artistcraftsman friends Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Anarchy & Beauty at the National Portrait Gallery is the tie in exhibition which explores the life and ideas of the great Victorian artist, writer and visionary thinker through portraits, personal items and fascinating objects, many of which are on public display for the first time,. This major exhibition illustrates Morris’s concept of ‘art for the people’ and highlights the achievements of those that he inspired.

Curated by acclaimed author and biographer Fiona MacCarthy, the display features original furniture and textiles designed and owned by Morris as well as the work of his contemporaries including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. These are innovatively showcased alongside remarkable books, jewellery, ceramics and clothing by craftspeople such as Eric Gill, Bernard Leach and Terence Conran, demonstrating how Morris’s legacy continued into the twentieth century, influencing radical politics, the Garden City movement and the Festival of Britain in 1951.



Best new art books

Enjoy browsing  some of the Art and Design Books added to stock in 2014

Hockney: the biography. Volume 2, 1975-2012 by Christopher Sykes. Picking up Hockney’s story in 1975, this volume finds him flitting between Notting Hill and California, where he took inspiration for the swimming pool series of paintings; creating the acclaimed set designs for operas around the world; and embracing emerging technologies – the camera and fax machine in the 1970s and 80s, and most recently the iPad

In Montmarte: Picasso, Matisse and modernism in Paris 1900-1910In Montmarte: Picasso, Matisse and modernism in Paris 1900-1910 by Sue Roe Bringing to life the fascinating true story of the birth of modernist art at the dawn of the 20th century, ‘In Montmarte’ describes the bohemian worlds of significant artists such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Derain, Vlaminick and Modigliani

How to read paintings: a crash course in meaning and method by Liz Rideal is a visual guide to Western European painting. Through a gallery of artworks accompanied by informative captions, it enables readers to swiftly develop their understanding of the grammar and vocabulary of painting; and to discover how to look at diverse paintings in detail.

Leeds Museums and Galleries by John Roles – Leeds Museums and Galleries is the largest local-authority-runLeeds Museums and Galleries Museum service in England and Wales, with nine sites ranging from magnificent stately homes, industrial sites, museums, an art gallery and a medieval abbey. Core to the service are the collections, an estimated 1.3 million individual objects across a vast range of disciplines which have an international reputation for their quality, depth and unique nature. Through these collections we tell stories of world civilisations, human evolution, the rise of the industrialised world, human creativity and the environment in which we live

On order — Francis Bacon by Kitty Hauser Francis Bacon was one of the giants dominating the artistic landscape of the mid-twentieth century, and served as the inspiration and launching point for much of the figural and abstract art that came after him. This highly illustrated book features not only 20 of the artists major works, but in stunning original colour illustrations portrays the events of his life and the circle of friends and associates with whom he formed a louche, brazen gang that cut open the belly of the old propriety.

#FF book covers we like – ‘Why Cats Paint’

Don’t try this at home!
Why Cats Paint’ by Heather Busch and Burton Silver isn’t too serious (we hope)
‘The fact that some domestic cats are able to make marks with paint has always been explained by biologists as instinctive territorial marking behaviour.
Now, this book presents a theory based on recent evidence that supports the view that some cat’s marks are aesthetically motivated.’ More on Good Reads