You are here:

William Morris Gallery: iconic textile designer reinterprets Morris prints for new collection

The results of a collaboration between renowned textile designer Celia Birtwell and the William Morris Gallery have been revealed.

Style icon Birtwell, described by Manolo Blahnik as “one of the most talented textiles designers ever”, was invited by the Gallery to reinterpret Morris’s designs for a contemporary audience.

Seeking inspiration in the archives at the Gallery, which is owned and run by Waltham Forest Council, Birtwell developed five new floral prints that put her playful stamp on Morris’s 19th century originals. The prints feature on a silk scarf, greetings cards, a bone china mug, sketch book and a range of ceramic jewellery handmade in Cornwall.

The exclusive collection, which will raise funds for the Gallery’s exhibitions and educational projects, is available in the Gallery shop or online at

It follows successful collaborations with House of Hackney, Jigsaw and Marc Jacobs.

Celia Birtwell said: “Interior and decorative design would not be the same today had it not been for the pioneering work of William Morris so it was a great honour to be asked by the William Morris Gallery to redesign some of his work.

“I wanted to keep true to his work whilst incorporating my own design style in order to create something fresh and contemporary. The museum is an important gem and one that should be cherished for generations to come. I hope the work I’ve created will help raise significant funds for the Gallery.”

Notes to editors

William Morris Gallery 

Lloyd Park, Forest Road,

Walthamstow, London, E17 4PP

For further information, including images, please contact Ian Mason:

Ian Mason, Media Communications Officer Waltham Forest Council

Tel: 020 8496 4726

Mob: 07740 046143


About the William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery is the only public Gallery devoted to William Morris: designer, craftsman and radical socialist. Housed in the grade II* listed building that was Morris's family home from 1848 to 1856, the Gallery reopened in August 2012 following a major redevelopment that attracted widespread public and press acclaim.

Since its relaunch the Gallery has developed an ambitious contemporary programme, hosting Morris-inspired exhibitions by artists including Grayson Perry, Jeremy Deller, Yinka Shonibare and Bob and Roberta Smith.

The Gallery, which is owned and run by Waltham Forest Council, was awarded the Art Fund prize for Museum of the Year in 2013 and was nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award in 2014.

About Celia Birtwell

Muse of David Hockney and partner of Ossie Clark, Celia Birtwell is one of the most important textile designers of her generation.

Birtwell’s design career began in the sixties, when she dressed the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix, Twiggy and Marianne Faithful. In 1984 she opened an interiors shop in Westbourne Park, specialising in the bold, playful fabrics that would become her signature.

Birtwell’s ranges have been stocked by renowned retailers like Conran, Liberty and Harvey Nichols, while her collaborations with Uniqlo and Topshop have ensured a mass audience for her work.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.