Item of the Week: May Morris in Iceland

Published: June 18, 2010

When William Morris first set foot in Iceland in 1870, after several years of studying Icelandic folklore and language, he felt as though he had come home.  After his death, his daughter and fellow artist May made several trips to Iceland with her friend Mary Lobb.

In 1986, the Journal of William Morris Studies published a short memoir by Gudrun Jonsdottir, who recalled Morris and Lobb’s three visits to her family’s home in rural Iceland from 1922-1929.  It is likely that the sketches contained in this sketchbook date from these visits.

The sketches contained are all quite rough and gestural, mainly in pencil with a little pen.  Many have notes about the colors of the landscape that can’t be rendered in pencil alone.

May Morris, [Sketchbook from Iceland]. MS.2010.009

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