The De Morgan Foundation

A Marriage of Art and Craft - Masterpieces from the De Morgan Collection

Hosted by: The De Morgan Foundation


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What's On / Past exhibitions / A Marriage of Art and Craft - Masterpieces from the De Morgan Collection

Past Exhibition Information

Jan. 17, 2024 - Feb. 11, 2024

Gallery 11

The De Morgan Foundation

To welcome the artworks back to the UK, 'A Marriage of Art and Craft' showcases highlights from the first major retrospective of Pre-Raphaelite painter, Evelyn Pickering De Morgan, and her husband, stained glass and pottery designer, William Frend De Morgan, to travel internationally.

These highlights include:

  • Glittering lustreware ceramics by William De Morgan, including the unique 'Fish and Net Vase', spectacular 'Bear and Hare Dish', and intriguing 'Sea Monsters Tile Panel', giving a comprehensive view of William De Morgan's ceramics.
  • Evelyn De Morgan's iconic paintings, 'Flora' (1894), ' Helen of Troy' (1896), and 'Cassandra' (1896) join her exrtraordinary gold drawing, 'Earthbound' (1897), showcasing her profound artistic legacy and interest in different artistic styles and techniques. 

The exhibition demonstrates the unique artistic partnership the De Morgans’ marriage represented. 

William and Evelyn De Morgan are well respected as artists through the lasting legacy and enduring beauty of their artworks. But William’s ceramics and Evelyn’s paintings were products of the married artists’ lives and shared social and political views. Both strove to create beautiful artworks in rapidly industrialising London. Against the backdrop of economic and gender inequality and manufacturing eradicating the value of the handmade, the De Morgans created artworks to challenge these issues head on. William De Morgan’s otherworldly ceramics were handmade by a team of talented craftsmen who worked tirelessly to create unique objects in the face of mechanisation. Evelyn De Morgan had to worked hard to prove herself in a patriarchal art world. As a result, her pictures feature strong women from mythology and carry a feminist spirit.

Curator Tours
On Fridays and Saturdays at 12.00pm, throughout the run of the exhibition, there will be free tours lead by exhibition curator, Sarah Hardy.

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About the Hosts

The De Morgan Foundation

The De Morgan Foundation

William and Evelyn De Morgan were artists who believed that their artwork could make the world a better, more beautiful place. They were married in 1887, entering into an equal partnership in which each supported the other in artistic endeavours. Evelyn De Morgan (1855 - 1919) painted stunning canvases, inspired by the Aesthetic movement, and Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which promoted her feminist, spiritualist, and pacifist agendas. She was a true professional whose commercial success kept the couple, and enabled William De Morgan (1839 - 1917) to maintain his pottery business. William's unique ceramics were handmade in Chelsea, Merton Abbey, and Fulham by a small team of dedicated staff, upholding William Morris's Arts and Crafts Movement ideals that objects should be both beautiful and useful.
Upon the deaths of the artists, Evelyn's Younger sister Wilhelmina Stirling began collecting as much of the De Morgan's artwork as she could, believing in the power of their art to transform and uplift the lives of others with its beauty. She left her collection in trust upon her death, and the De Morgan Foundation was registered as an independent charity in 1967.
Today, The aims of the charity are as follows:
  • To care for the De Morgan Collection and provide public access to it
  • To provide information about and interpretation of the Collection on many levels, and to promote the appreciation of art and education in art and allied subjects
  • The Foundation offers the widest possible access to the Collection to the public via strategic partnerships with complementary organisations across the country, through a series of loans and temporary exhibitions.
It also provides an online, searchable database of the collection and images of the artworks themselves, as well as information about the collection and the life and work of the De Morgans.

The Foundation also runs educational programmes, activities, talks and events, to encourage exploration, understanding, appreciation of and insight into the Collection.