Monday, 1 December 2014

The Firm

The Morris Room, V&A
details here

11 April 1861
Formation of the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co
Partners = William Morris, Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, Charles Faulkner, Peter Paul Marshall, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Philip Webb.
Each hold one £20 share, of which £1 was called up.
Morris’s mother lent the firm £100 to start trading.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (1848-51): this had never been a business venture, had been secret for a time and was restricted to fine art, poetry and cultural criticism.
The Hogarth club (1858-61): primarily an exhibition society, it was open to like-minded individuals and it originally was intended to further the careers of the exhibiting artists.
Summerly’s [Henry Cole’s] “Art Manufactures” group: to produce items for the 3rd annual exhibition of  British Manufacturers at the Society of the Arts 1848: to “obtain as much beauty and ornament as is consistent with cheapness.”

John Ruskin in 1859.
“[you] must remember that your business as manufacturers is to form the market as much as to supply it. If in short-sightedness and reckless eagerness for wealth you catch at every humour of the populace … you may by accident, snatch the market;  or, by energy, command it… But whatever happens to you .. The whole of your life will have been spent corrupting public taste and encouraging public extravagance….” [The Two Paths]

Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co prospectus, 1861
‘The growth of decorative art in this country … has now reached a point at which it seems desirable that artists of reputation should devote their time to it.’
“These Artists having been for many years deeply attached to the study of the decorative arts of all time and countries, have felt more than most people the want of some one place, where they could either obtain or get produced work of a genuine beautiful character. They have therefore now established themselves as a firm, for the production, by themselves, and under their supervision, of:
for the production, by themselves, and under their supervision, of:
I mural decoration…
II Carving…
III Stained Glass…
IV Metalwork in all its branches, including Jewellery.
V Furniture… under this head is included Embroidery…

St George Cabinet see

Punch spoof: George Du Maurier, Punch March 1866 see
Registers popular awareness of Morris and Rossetti circle, including Rossetti love life.

Images from lecture are pinned here

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