Sunday, 31 October 2010

William Morris and Arsenic

Dear Friend,

The William Morris Society would like to invite you to attend our upcoming lecture by Professor Andrew Meharg, entitled “Poisonous Mines, Wallpapers and Seamstresses: William Morris and Arsenic.”

As well as art and design, William Morris was known for being an outspoken socialist and an environmentalist. He was a co-founder of the Arts and Crafts movement and is described by art historians as someone who sought to ‘shift workers out of numbing factory jobs into uplifting crafts where a healthy mind, body and spirit could be achieved.’

While Morris was a progenitor of the modern environmental movement, Professor Meharg reminds us that Morris was also a man of his time. His fortune was based on some of the most polluting mines in Britain and his widespread fame on interior decor constructed from toxic salts. He also employed the most notorious murderesses of the 19th century. Professor Meharg will explain how the element arsenic links all these activities and explore the contradictions involved.

Professor Andrew Meharg, University of Aberdeen, is a Chair in Biogeochemistry and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The talk will take place at Kelmscott House on Saturday 13 November at 2.15pm.

Tickets: £6 for members, £8 for non-members, £4 for students.

The pre-booking of tickets for events at our premises is required, as our historic Coach House lecture room has limited seating capacity.

For tickets please contact the office: William Morris Society, Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA, Tel: +44 (0)208 741 3735, email:

We look forward to hearing from you.
Many thanks.
Best regards,
The William Morris Society

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