Emery Walker’s House reopens with new wallpaper tours

  • 19 Feb 2020
  • Article

Emery Walker’s House reopens on March 5th after its winter hibernation with a series of new tours focusing on its unique collection of hand-blocked wallpapers.

7 Hammersmith Terrace, a memory museum of three generations of inhabitants intimately connected with leading creatives of their day, showcases the work of key members of the Arts and Crafts movement, including one of the largest in situ collections of original Morris & Co hand-blocked wallpapers in the world.

The new tours will explore the history of wallpaper with a particular emphasis on William Morris’ designs and give visitors an opportunity to see items, rarely on show to the public, close up at both The William Society’s premises which is a 10 minute walk away and at Emery Walker’s House.

At first Morris was unwilling to compromise the principles which came to embody the Arts & Crafts Movement later on – handcrafted items, made from good quality materials by skilled craftsmen and women - and preferred embroidered hangings, tapestries and frescoes to cover walls. However, he quickly came to appreciate the huge expense of making such items and realised that something less expensive was called for, so started to design wallpapers. He rejected the idea of roller printing which had been increasingly used since the 1840s, and insisted on hand-cut wallpaper blocks and hand-printing. These complex, detailed designs, inspired by nature and Medieval art can be seen in nearly every room of the house, and include extremely rare designs and colourways.

Visitors to the general tours will be able to enjoy the riverside garden’s new planting scheme, inspired by Emery Walker’s daughter Dorothy’s garden diaries.

Emery Walker’s House opens on Thursdays and Saturdays for their expert one hour general guided tours of the house limited to just eight people. Please book these and their monthly specialist textile and wallpaper tours via emerywalker.org.uk.


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