The William Morris Gallery’s autumn exhibition, ‘The Enchanted Garden’, will explore the magic and transformative power of gardens, bringing together a selection of works by artists ranging from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Bloomsbury Group, alongside favourite childhood illustrators Beatrix Potter and Cicely Mary Barker. This will be the first exhibition to take place in Waltham Forest in its year as London Borough of Culture 2019.
The exhibition will explore the multifarious ways in which artists have taken inspiration directly from the gardens around them, whether small or large, manicured or wild. Following its initial presentation at the Laing Art Gallery earlier this year, ‘The Enchanted Garden’ at the William Morris Gallery will feature paintings, works on paper and books. Featured artists will include Lucien Pissarro, William Edward Stott, Edward Burne-Jones, Stanley Spencer, Beatrix Potter, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Highlights from the William Morris Gallery’s own collection will be shown alongside loans from across the UK, including the Ashmolean Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cartwright Hall, Arts Council Collection, Leeds Museum & Art Galleries, and the Laing Art Gallery.
‘William Morris emphasized a close connection between house and garden, creating a dialogue between interior and outside space. His designs brought nature into the home and he was a key figure in the development of domestic garden design, helping to popularize the Arts and Crafts garden among the artistic middle class, in England and the US. The Enchanted Garden explores how his contemporaries and subsequent generations of artists have responded to the allure of garden spaces. ’ – Senior Curator, Rowan Bain.
The exhibition will open with works looking at how artists have captured the enduring affection that we have for our gardens. Towards the end of the 19th century, the fashion for Victorian formal planting was replaced by a desire for ‘wild’ rural gardens that appeared natural and full of colour, an aesthetic that united artists and gardeners. Works in this section will include drawings by Beatrix Potter, capturing animal adventures in the vegetable garden and My Studio Garden (1938) by Lucien Pissarro, which evokes a great affection for his own verdant back
20 October 2018 – 27 January 2019
William Morris Gallery Lloyd Park, Forest Rd, London E17 4PP