Ah-ha! A trip all the way up to Walthamstow to see the newly refurbished William Morris Gallery! It's one of those things I have been meaning to do for a while but it's a bit of a trek for just 'popping in'. Then again, ticket prices up to London are usually extortionate, so I go up only for big exhibitions and things like this tend to lose out. Well, not today! Armed with our Summer Fever Cheap Train Ticket, Lily-Rose and I climbed aboard a train heading north and east....
A brief trot from the end of the Victoria line is the William Morris Gallery. Named Art Fund Museum of the Year 2013, it has benefited from a recent £5million transformation, presenting the beautiful collection to the best advantage. It's free to get in and runs a series of splendid exhibitions throughout the year (A Memory Palace of her own by Margje Bijl, as discussed in the last post, will be there from 11 January until 9 March 2014).
So what did I see?
|The Oxford Street Shop room|
|The Morris and Co room|
|The Ideal Book room|
If I had any criticisms, and on the whole I really don't, it would be that I needed a bit of signage as I entered as the hall doubles as a shop and the staff were all occupied with customers. As it is a free museum you can just wander in and so I had to make a bit of a guess where to start, but once you get going it all flows naturally. I would also have liked to see more objects that were Morris' own things, but I think that they probably don't exist. The smock that was hanging in the first room was a replica, but I would have liked to see more of his personal effects rather than things that sprang from his genius, but it may seem a little picky to want to look at that when he was a well-spring of such beautiful things.
The museum is free, yes free, and instead of a guidebook you can purchase this for £7.50...
Yes, it's bloody gorgeous. They also sell a tshirt that reads 'Beautiful and Useful'. Of course I bought one.
Visit the website here and get yourself to Walthamstow to see how beautiful it is.
You won't be disappointed.