Saturday, March 20, 2010

William Morris: MIA at Target

Some of you may know about this already, but one week ago tomorrow, Target premiered its new Liberty of London line of products sold exclusively in their stores and online. I got a heads-up from a friend on this new line of products (everything from bicycles to dresses, all in LoL patterns) and was eagerly anticipating the day when I could see all that was available.

I searched the website last Sunday, only to find that not only were all the prints newer style (i.e. cute but quite 60s-2000s-looking) but there was no William Morris to be seen! Liberty of London and Morris to me are synonymous, and I was shocked that they wouldn't use his patterns.

So this afternoon I went with my husband to the stores to try on some of their LoL dresses (all unflattering on me) and see what housewares they had. And in-person, I finally found a William Morris pattern.

Allow me to introduce the "Dunclare" set of canisters, size medium. Of course size small and size large both are completely unrelated black and white non-Morris patterns, and therefore I had no use for a single canister, but at least it's William Morris at Target. ONE single canister with Morris's Sunflower pattern, uncredited, in the entire Liberty of London line.

(PS: I did also find a clipboard in the office section with the Sunflower pattern on it the best of my knowledge, that's it for the entire line)

I'm simultaneously giddy to see Morris at Target, and disappointed that there isn't more.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau, the New Art, was paradoxically backward-looking, flirting with the Ancient of Days, the Sphinx, the Chimera, Venus under the Tannenberg, Persian peacocks, melusines, and Rhine maidens, along with hairy-legged Pan and draped and dangerous oriental priestesses. Some of its newness derived from the deep dream of the lost past which informed both Burne-Jones's palely loitering knights and porcelain-fine maidens, and Morris's sense of saga-scenes and bright embroidered hangings. But it was radically new also, in its use of spinning, coiling, insinuating lines derived from natural forms, its rendering in new metal of tree-shapes newly observed, its abandonment of the solid worth of gold and diamonds for the aesthetic delights of nonprecious metals and semi-precious stones, mother-of-pearl, grained wood, amethyst, coral, moonstone. It was an art at once of frozen stillness, and images of rapid movement. It was an art of shadows and glitter that understood the new force that transfigured both the exhibition and the century to come. Electricity.

--A gorgeous description of Art Nouveau and its influences, from page 273 of the novel The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt, a book I'm reading very slowly, but enjoying.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Soul of the Rose Part II

I apologize for my silence on this blog. Life intrudes sometimes, and distracts me from my always and forever passionate pursuit of all things Pre-Raphaelite. While you are waiting, let me distract you with something lovely.

My friend Christine subscribes to English Home magazine. In their current issue, they feature an article on home-dec fabrics where they feature the fabrics on a stunning redheaded model. This image blew me away, and I had her husband Lee scan it for me. To me, with the blue fabric and the red hair, it looks like the model from The Soul of the Rose by Waterhouse meandered past the gardens on her way back into her manor.

Click to see larger of course.