William Morris (March 24, 1834 – October 3, 1896) was a British textile designer, poet, artist, fantasy writer, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. Born in Walthamstow, Essex, England, Morris studied at Exeter College, Oxford, and developed close friendships with Pre-Raphaelite artists Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and with Neo-Gothic architect Philip Webb. Morris’s designs for furniture, fabrics, stained glass, wallpaper, and other decorative arts generated the Arts and Crafts movement in England and revolutionized Victorian taste.

In terms of cultural impact, Morris was undoubtedly one of the most original and radical creative forces of the 19th Century. His designs are as popular as ever, helped by the occasional contemporary makeover, while his legendary versatility and activism continue to inspire new generations of artists and designers. His aesthetic – with its vibrant patterns, full of intricate detail – is also a perfect fit for the current love of maximalism, eclecticism, and nostalgia in interior design. His work has had a significant impact on most artists and led to the creation of numerous organisations across Britain and other regions which drove the ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement. His life and work gave physical expression to the ideals and sentiments of Romanticism, and this in turn gave rise to a community of taste reaching across class boundaries and generations.