May Morris

May Morris (1862-1938) was the younger of Jane and William Morris's two daughters and was a very talented crafts person and designer in her own right. May excelled in the field of embroidery and was Head of Embroidery at Morris & Co. by the time she was twenty-three. She also designed and made jewellery and was a talented amateur watercolour artist.

May was a committed socialist and was instrumental in founding the Women’s Guild of Arts in 1907. This organisation was formed to support women working in the arts and crafts field, at a time when they were excluded from other similar organisations (such as the Art Workers’ Guild, which did not admit women until 1972). May was also a skilled editor, spending her later years editing the 24 volumes of her father's collected works.

Despite all these achievements, her significance for the Arts and Crafts Movement was largely forgotten until the end of the twentieth century when a renewed interest in craft and the heritage of the Movement re-established her place as one of its most influential designer craftswomen. A landmark exhibition about May's life and works at the William Morris Gallery, at the end of 2017/beginning 2018, did much to redress the balance.