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 May Morris

May Morris

Original Name Mary
Birth
Bexleyheath, London Borough of Bexley, Greater London, England
Death 17 Oct 1938 (aged 76)
Enfield, London Borough of Enfield, Greater London, England
Burial Kelmscott, West Oxfordshire District, Oxfordshire, England
Memorial ID 11791 · View Source
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Artist, Model. She was a noted embroidery designer of the late 19th. and early 20th. centuries, as well as a model for painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Born Mary Morris, she was the child of artist William Morris and model Jane Burden Morris. Having learned embroidery as an early age from her mother and her aunt, May entered the National Art Training School (now, Royal College of Art) in 1881, and became head of embroidery in her father's company in 1885. After meeting British Socialist leader Henry Halliday Sparling in 1886, she married him, against strenuous familial opposition, in 1890. The union broke-up in 1894 due to May's affair with previous lover George Bernard Shaw, and ended in an 1898 divorce, with May reclaiming her maiden name. Between 1910 and 1915, she edited her father's collected works, which were published in 24 volumes. While May was never as noted as was her father within the British "Arts and Crafts" movement, she was active in the Royal School of Needlework, and remained an influential designer and teacher who helped move embroidery away from the "paint-by-numbers" asthetic of the time.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Aug 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11791
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for May Morris (25 Mar 1862–17 Oct 1938), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11791, citing St George Churchyard, Kelmscott, West Oxfordshire District, Oxfordshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .