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William Morris (1834-1896) is regarded by some as the greatest designer and one of the most outstanding figures of the Arts and Crafts Movement. He was also a poet, artist, philosopher, typographer and political theorist. In 1861, with a group of friends, he started the decorating business Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. providing beautiful, handcrafted products and furnishings for the home. Morris was motivated by the desire to provide affordable ‘art for all’ and driven by his boundless enthusiasm, the output of the company was prolific.
Best known for wallpaper and fabric designs, over the next 150 years, the company became known simply as Morris & Co. They enjoyed long periods of growth but also suffered mixed fortunes, particularly during the turbulent years of the First and Second World Wars. Morris & Co. finally went into voluntary liquidation in 1940 but the design archives and remaining wallpaper stock were purchased by another household name in home furnishings, Arthur Sanderson & Sons. Morris & Co. has remained a part of the Sanderson family ever since and today they sit alongside each other as distinctive and unique brands under the Style Library umbrella.