See two Arts & Crafts gems a 10 minute walk away in Hammersmith for free in this year’s Open House in Hammersmith 22-23rd September 2018
The William Morris Society Museum is participating in Open House on both Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September 11.00 - 1700. No need to book. The Society’s small museum is in the coach house and basement rooms of Kelmscott House and there will also be a chance to see their small garden which is not usually open to the public. The coach house is now an exhibition and lecture space. Morris started to weave his first carpets there, and when he became active in politics, the coach-house became the meeting place for the Hammersmith branch of the Socialist League. The basement rooms have an extensive Morrisian reference library, showcase changing displays from the Society’s collection as well as Morris’s original Albion printing press used in the production of the Kelmscott Press Chaucer, Morris’s last great creation. William Morris lived at Kelmscott House from 1878 until his death in 1896 and the main section of the house is still a home today and not open to the public. The museum is usually open on Thursdays and Saturdays 14.00 to 17.00. williammorrissociety.org
Emery Walker’s House is opening its ground floor and garden on Sunday 23rd 14.00 to 17.00. No need to book. The Georgian terraced house has the most authentic Arts & Crafts interior in Britain and is packed with artefacts collected on travels around Europe and Africa or created by Walker’s friends and colleagues, leading protagonists in the Arts & Crafts Movement.
Visitors can visit the dining room which perfectly demonstrates the many layers of the house - the Morris textiles and hand blocked wallpaper, the Arts & Crafts ceramics and furniture, the knick-knacks and curiosities that make this feel like a family home. There are also many photographs, often taken by Emery himself, of his friends and colleagues, who were leading cultural figures of the day. One of the most striking elements of this room is the “Bird” pattern hanging, which spans the entire length of one wall. Other treasures include William Morris’s medieval library chair with a cushion designed and created by May Morris (who lived next door at No.8 Hammersmith Terrace) especially for Emery Walker. The Conservatory displays a colourful collection of ceramics collected on the Walker’s travels and a vine which grew from a cutting from Hogarth’s House. Steps lead to a picturesque riverside garden with sweeping views of the Thames.
Emery Walker’s House usually opens on Thursdays and Saturdays for one hour guided tours limited to just 8 people, so early booking is advisable via the website: emerywalker.org.uk.