Last night the Melbourne Museum opened Morris & Co, a sumptuous exhibition from the Art Gallery of South Australia curated by its new director, Christopher Menz. It was quite a scene. We were greeted at the entrance by a woman in period costume and there was an air of nostalgia in the evening.
The speeches were very interesting. Christopher Menz spoke eloquently about the patronage of Morris by the Adelaide society. Much was made of the link between the exhibition and the State Government Design Initiative and there is a forum planned and a design workshop for the public. It will be very interesting to see how the two connect. How might William Morris' rebellious spirit carry into our own age? As he wrote, "Apart from the desire to create beautiful things the leading passion of my life has been and is hatred of modern civilization"
William Morris 'How I became a socialist', in (ed. Asa Briggs) News from Nowhere and Selected Writings Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1980 (orig. 1894), p. 36