THREAT TO THE WILLIAM MORRIS GALLERY
The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London, is the only public
museum in the world devoted to William Morris's life, work and
influence, and has internationally important collections reflecting the
enormous range of his activities. Morris's original designs and
textiles, wallpapers, furniture, stained glass, tiles, fine printing and
book arts, are shown alongside works by Edward Burne-Jones, Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, Philip Webb, May Morris, and many others. The museum
also has applied arts by Morris's followers in the Arts & Crafts
movement, as well as paintings and drawings by the Pre-Raphaelites and
by Sir Frank Brangwyn, who generously gifted his own significant
collections to form the nucleus of the Gallery.
For the over 50 years since the museum was opened by Clement Attlee,
many thousands of people - locals and visitors and researchers from
every corner of the world - have made the pilgrimage to Walthamstow to
visit for free this museum in Morris's boyhood home, a beautiful
Georgian house set in a Victorian park.
In January 2007 Waltham Forest Council proposed cutbacks to severely
limit the opening hours of the William Morris Gallery and also of the
local Vestry House Museum & Archives and to terminate the contracts of
all staff as part of a drastic restructuring - who learned about the
threats to their jobs and museums in the local newspaper. The
internationally renowned Curator of the William Morris Gallery has
worked tirelessly for thirty years to build up the collections, to hold
inspiring exhibitions, to educate visitors and to assist researchers.
Now, the so-called consultation period is over and many fear this will
be the beginning of the end of this unique museum - and damaging to
William Morris's legacy.
The Friends of the William Morris Gallery are asking for your help.
Please visit http://www.keepourmuseumsopen.org.uk/ where there is A LINK
TO AN ONLINE PETITION.
10,000 names are needed by the end of this month. Every single name and
comment helps! Please tell your contacts.
See also Jonathan Glancey's piece in today's Guardian:
Time is of the essence and we are very concerned that this will be yet
another cultural disaster in the UK, and another loss of precious
historical resources for students and researchers.
Thank you for your support. As Morris said: FELLOWSHIP IS LIFE