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Free show celebrates the apprentice of William Morris

Categoriesnews Arts and parksnews

Image captionImage 1: Golden Lily wallpaper created by John Henry Dearle. Credit: Getty Images

Designer John Henry Dearle learnt his craft under the tutelage of the great Arts and Crafts exponent William Morris.

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Image caption: Image 2: John Henry Dearle

Now there’s a chance to enjoy the apprentice’s work for yourself at a free exhibition in Hammersmith. The show – titled Morris’s Successor – runs until December at the Coach House of Kelmscott House in Upper Mall, Hammersmith.

A talented artist in his own right, Dearle lived from 1859 to 1932, creating the Golden Lily wallpaper in his 30s. It is one of the design house’s most popular lines.

Though always in the shadow of his boss and mentor, Dearle’s work, and his life, is now being given the recognition it is due.

Dearle became artistic director of Morris & Co in a career spanning more than half a century, demonstrating a natural gift for textile and wallpaper design by creating more than 70 patterns, and extending his skills to the creation of carpets and stained glass.

The man who began work as an Oxford Street shop assistant rose to prominence when Morris himself branched out into politics and book production; anointing Dearle as his customer liaison and chief designer at the firm’s workshops at Merton Abbey.

On display are many objects from the William Morris Society’s collection, including printed fabrics, embroidery, woven tapestries and wallpapers.

The free show is open 2pm to 5pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays until 17 December.

Full details are on the William Morris Society's website.

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