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May Morris



May Morris: Desire and Feeling for Beauty in Embroidery

TAC Virtual Travels- The Arts & Crafts Heritage of William and May Morris, Part Three

Presented by Lucy Barter

Sunday, August 30, 1:30 pm, online via Zoom

Admission: Free. Registration required


May Morris, the daughter of William Morris, was an influential embroiderer and designer in the Arts and Crafts movement. For over a century, her work was overshadowed by the work of her father. In recent years, exhibits showcasing unseen artifacts and embroideries have brought May’s achievements to the forefront. In conjunction with new publications highlighting her work, we now have the opportunity to discover more about May, her style, her skills and her aesthetic.

Focusing on May Morris as an embroiderer and designer, we will examine her inspiration and her work managing the embroidery department at Morris & Co. Through the lessons of her stitches and the materials she used, we will explore the work she accomplished, her teaching, the lectures she gave, and the publication of “Decorative Needlework,” her introductory guide to embroidery. In conclusion, we consider the role May Morris plays in today’s world of needlework and how she has emerged from her father’s shadow and gained the recognition she deserves.


Lucy Barter is the co-founder of the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design. Prior to that she was the sole proprietor of her own needlework business, Forever Embroidery Studio. Lucy served as the resident embroidery teacher at Filoli, and served as the US Course Coordinator and instructor for the Royal School of Needlework.

In 2006, Lucy graduated from the Royal School of Needlework Apprenticeship Programme, and holds a BA Honors Degree in Fashion Design from the University of Northumbria.

Lucy brings many valuable years of teaching, design and technical expertise to the needlework field. She is passionate about sharing traditional embroidery techniques. She has three pre-school aged children to keep her on her toes when she is not at SNAD.

Image Credits: 1. May Morris; Unknown photographer, Cyanotype; early 1890s. © National Portrait Gallery, London. 2. courtesy of Lucy Barter


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