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Standen House and WM CO.


A Visit to Standen House, and the Heritage of Morris & Co.

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

Sunday, August 16, 1:30 pm, online via Zoom

Admission: Free. Registration required

The program begins with a virtual video tour of Standen House, narrated by Dr. Abigail Moore, Professor of Arts History, Leeds University. Standen House, an arts and crafts style country home decorated with wallpapers, textiles, and furniture by Morris & Co., was one of the company’s most important commissions.


View the film shown with this event, Heni Talks, “William Morris: Useful Beauty In the Home with Art historian Abigail Harrison-Moore.


Next, Professor Moore joins us live from the UK for further conversation on Standen House.

To close the program, Shannon Davis, Creative Director, Selamat Designs, introduces the history of Morris & Co. and discusses her 2019 collaboration with the company to reinterpret their heritage designs.


Standen House is an arts and crafts style country home decorated with wallpapers, textiles, and furniture by Morris & Co. and was one of the company’s most important commissions. Its architect, Phillip Webb, a longtime friend and collaborator of William Morris, found inspiration in the original historic buildings, and incorporated some of the medieval farm buildings into his design. Completed in 1894, at a cost of £18,065, Standen’s historic heritage was melded with modern amenities, including central heating and electricity. The house holds a beautiful collection of furnishings and embroideries, many completed by the women of the family.

Morris and Co. was founded in 1861, followed William Morris’s maxim “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” which continues to be relevant to how we live today. Morris abhorred the poorly made and pretentious mass produced furnishings that had flooded the British marketplace. His designs and production methods brought back traditional craftsmanship and the beauty of natural materials. He wished to elevate crafts to the exalted level of artistic significance which he believed that they held in the medieval era.


Dr. Abigail Harrison Moore is Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Leeds. She developed the University of Leeds’ masters program in Art Gallery and Museum Studies. Abigail’s research focuses on the art history of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, particularly the Arts and Crafts Movement, and her last monograph, Fraud, Fakery and False Business (Continuum, 2011), considered the social, legal and political dimensions of the art and antiques market in 1920’s England. In the UK, she is very focused on creative education in schools and has written widely on the educational challenges for young people from low social and economic groups.


Shannon Davis is co-owner of Selamat Designs, along with her partner in business and life, husband Thatcher Davis. As Creative Director, she fosters and maintains brand partnerships and conceptualizes themes, trends and styles that drive Selamat’s organic, modern collections. Shannon’s latest collaboration with the team from the Morris & Co. design archive led to the new Morris & Co. x Selamat Collection, an indoor/outdoor furniture, lighting and décor capsule inspired by the designs of the prolific heritage brand.


Image Credits: 1. Standen House Front Entry, Ellin Klor 2. courtesy of Dr. Abigail Moore 3. courtesy of Shannon Davis


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