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London Arts and Crafts Movement


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We will be in London for 8-9 days and Sussex for 5 days in September.
We are members of the Rose Valley Museum outside of Philadelphia.
I am a docent/tour guide there as well. Rose Valley is a one square mile borough founded on the principles of William Morris and John Ruskin and is one of four remaining Arts and Crafts communities in the US along with Arden in Wilmington, DE, Roycroft in East Aurora, NY and Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, NY.
So, with that said, I wanted to see if there are sites associated with The Arts and Crafts Movement along with William Morris, John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites in London. I am aware of Kelmscot Manor 40 minutes from Oxford, (not on this trip) Red House, which we hope to visit and the exhibits at the V & A. The Tate Britain joined with the Delaware Art Museum to show both their collections of the Rosettis last year in London and earlier this this year in Wilmington, DE and am not sure when the paintings will make it back to the Tate. The choice of Sussex is to visit UK wineries among other sites.

The link will take you to one of my favourite museums in London with possibly the biggest collection of WM’s work in the world.
I’m a big fan of William Morris and Burne-Jones in particular. Oxford is a good place to go on the trail but it depends upon your favourite aspect of their works.

There is a rich collection of Pre Raphaelite works in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford as well as stained glass, the fresco in the student union & too many other sites/ sights to mention across the city,
Aside from Kelmscott which can be tricky to visit as it’s open just 3 days a week in the summer there is Lord Farringdon’s estate at Buscot Manor which features Burne Jones “ Cycle of the Rose “ wall paintings which are blissful in my opinion !
I am visiting again along with Kelmscott next month. Looking forward to seeing Janie’ s tapestries again as well as Rossetti’s palette & brushes at Kelmscott.
I did note that you are not aiming to visit Kelmscott on your September trip.

Birmingham, where B - J was born has a good art gallery with lots of P R works too as well as hundreds of preparatory cartoons for B J’s stained glass that are not on public display but viewings can be requested.
Wightwick Manor is a glorious repository of the art & crafts movement work but that is close to a town in the Midlands, Wolverhampton.

If you are going to Sussex then you must take the opportunity to visit Standen. A gorgeous house in the Arts & Crafts style with a strong emphasis on fabrics and wall coverings.

The Red House will be a thrill but be prepared for it to be fairly empty. There is a big push on to find some of its original furniture & tapestries, When I was last there a Pre - Raphaelite wall cartoon had been found underneath some old plaster. Small but quite exciting.
It’s a good few years since I visited so it’s likely some of the original furniture and furnishings will have been bought & put back in their rightful home.
Philip Webb along with W M designed some of the furniture as well as the house but you’ll know that already.
Ah I’ve just remembered The Cotswolds rich seam of Arts & Crafts but
I’ll need to write more later when I’ve gathered my thoughts and obviously you can’t visit everything but I promise to concentrate on London as you request.
I was thinking you could consider a day trip from London to somewhere like Oxford which would be quite straightforward on the train, if there isn’t a strike.
In the meantime
I would like to recommend Fiona McCarthy’s biography of Burne Jones if you haven’t read it already. It’s called The Last Pre - Raphaelite.
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Upon reflection I think you will have a very rewarding visiting if you can fit in a visit to the William Morris Gallery along with some of your already chosen visits in London.
( You’d have a rewarding visit if you didn’t quite honestly but I can’t recommend the WMG enough. )
I’m sure you’d find Standen House and Garden a worthwhile and enjoyable place too.
What a marvellous prospect you have in store and apologies for my rambling post above. As you can tell I’m a big fan.
Thank you Wendy,
WMG is on the list I just forgot to list in the post, but like the positive reinforcement.
May have to rethink our day trip to Cambridge for Oxford. Is there anything in Cambridge we should be aware of? Will look into squeezing in Standen House while in Sussex.

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