Walthamstow’s William Morris Gallery, which celebrates the life and work of the famous Victorian designer, reopened yesterday following a major renovation. The building was home to Morris and his family from 1848 to 1856.
The Gallery, in Lloyd Park, had been closed for 15 months for a £5 million upgrade and extension, mostly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Waltham Forest Council. Its holdings include wallpaper and furniture, canvases and ceramics, sculpture and stained glass — a delicious clump of Arts and Crafts ideas from the likes of Morris and influential mates such as Edward Burne-Jones. All can now be displayed in a superior environment, with proper conservation and storage space.
Rather than dwell solely on 19th Century beautifications, the gallery will also stage exhibitions of modern art and design. It couldn’t be off to a more fitting start than hanging up Grayson Perry’s Walthamstow Tapestry for all to admire. This 3m x 15m masterwork is a detail-rich exploration of consumerism, branding and advertising, and the effects of luxury goods on society. You can view the tapestry until 23 September.
Find more about the collection, museum events and forthcoming exhibitions on the gallery’s also-revamped website. The Londoneer goes into a bit more detail for those who want to know more about the regeneration.
William Morris Gallery is in Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 4PP, 020 8496 4390, @WMGallery. Entrance is free.