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Useful and Beautiful: William Morris and His Books

Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow, University of Delaware Library, in conversation with Diane Waggoner, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art. William Morris (1834-1896) gained fame as a designer, poet, socialist, founder of the arts and crafts movement, and maker of beautiful books at his Kelmscott Press, founded in 1891. In this conversation recorded on May 6, 2013 at the National Gallery of Art, Mark Samuels Lasner and Diane Waggoner explore Morris's lifelong, multifaceted engagement with print—as a reader, author, collector, calligrapher, typographer, printer, and publisher—that culminated with the publication of the great Kelmscott Chaucer just before his death. Samuels Lasner will also discuss his own collecting of the works of Morris and his circle. Selections from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library, are included in two concurrent exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art: Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900 (February 17-May 19, 2013) and Pre-Raphaelites and the Book (February 9-August 4, 2013).