Morris & Co.
English, 19th century
Draught Screen, 1890–1900
mahogany, silk damask, silk thread
92 x 229.5 x 3.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of an anonymous donor
This three-fold draught screen features the embroidery of May Morris, daughter of the founder of the Arts & Crafts Movement in Britain, William Morris, and his wife Jane Morris. May Morris embraced her father’s championing of handcrafted objects and the empowerment of the craftsperson in the machine age. She was also a major supporter of the Women’s Guild of Arts, established in 1907. After training at the South Kensington School of Design (now London’s Royal College of Art), she managed the embroidery department at her father’s company, Morris & Co., becoming chief designer of textiles with her father. May Morris’s designs and needlework are particularly evident in the wonderful straight-stemmed lilies gracing the WAG panels. George Jack, the chief furniture designer at Morris & Co. in the 1890s, is credited as the maker of the wooden frame for the screen.