Hornbake Library Exhibition Features Rare William Morris Books and Designs
The 19th-century author and designer William Morris is featured
in an exhibition at the Hornbake Library at the University of Maryland.
The exhibition, How We Might Live: The Vision of William
Morris, opens on September 4, 2012, and runs through July 2013.
Morris (1834 – 1896) was a British poet, designer, artist-craftsman,
typographer, preservationist, early environmentalist, socialist and business
many people know Morris for his textile and wallpaper designs, a goal of the
exhibition, says curator Ann Hudak, is to show this immense range of Morris’s
interests. “Morris is credited as one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts
movement,” Hudak says. “But he was also an author and a translator, a designer
and a printer. He is such an inspiring figure, and his works and thoughts
resonate today as they did more than a century ago.”
examines Morris’s life and vision, focusing on his written works, political
activism and artistic endeavors. “He died doing the work of ten men,” his doctor
said of him.
In 1891, Morris founded the Kelmscott Press and revived the
art of hand printing as a reaction to the industrialism of the 19th
century. Its books, many with intricate illustrations, feature Morris’s own
designs for type and ornamental letters.
The William Morris Collection is
one of the treasures of Special Collections in Hornbake Library. Of the 53 works
printed at the Kelmscott Press between 1891 and 1898, the University of Maryland
The exhibition features a rare copy of works by Geoffrey Chaucer
printed by the Kelmscott Press in 1896. Known as the Kelmscott Chaucer, the book
is a masterpiece of hand printing and widely considered to be one of the finest
books ever printed. It was acquired by the university in 2010 and has not been
previously exhibited at the university.
“How We Might Live: The
Vision of William Morris” is on display in the Maryland Room Gallery of the
R. Lee Hornbake Library on the University of Maryland, College Park, campus
through July 2013.
Free and open to the public during the Maryland
Room’s open hours (Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. – 8pm,
Sunday 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.).
For additional exhibit information and a link to
a forthcoming digital version, go to:
University of Maryland Libraries comprise the largest academic library system in
the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area. The eight-library system supports the
teaching, learning and research needs of University of Maryland students and