“Ars Longa Vita Brevis” translates to “Life is short, but art endures” and is the latin motto inscribed above the fire place in the drawing room at Red House. We’ve recently been looking through some amazing quotes from Morris himself, and thought we could share them with you.
With such a diverse range of interests and passions, there’s lots of topics that Morris covers with his quotes.
Our top William Morris quote, and one that we have printed onto some of our products is perhaps his most famous and one that is still all over Pinterest and held in iconic status (and practice) for many interior designers;
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’’ – William Morris.
A simple quote, but one that shows his attitude towards design; everything should serve a purpose whether that brings you joy through its beauty or practicality – knowing he designed all his textiles to be beautiful makes this rule even easier if you have his designs throughout your home. Since many of our products are functional as well as beautiful William Morris designs, we tick both boxes!
To summarise his beliefs on society; “I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.”
A quote that we believe resonates with us in terms of how we like to live, “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – how lovely is that! With the recent increase of the belief of mindfulness, this quote from Morris will still resonate with modern audiences.
Another quote that’s quite well known from William Morris and one that’s quite inspirational in terms of creative motivation, “A good way to rid one’s self of a sense of discomfort is to do something. That uneasy, dissatisfied feeling is actual force vibrating out of order; it may be turned to practical account by giving proper expression to its creative character.” ― William Morris
Whenever we think of everything Morris did and achieved throughout his life, every creative craft process he mastered, perhaps we can gain an insight into his determination and motivation with his quote from ”The Well At The World’s End: Volume I,” where he said, “With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.” – William Morris
The last quote we adore of Morris’ is one that gets better every time we read it with even more meaning, “Not on one strand are all life’s jewels strung.” The fact remains that with such a zest for life, from his work, family, friends, travel, poetry and literature, politics and of course, his designs, there’s so many jewels on his strand! It’s all about the different things that come together to make life amazing!
There we go! Lots of wonderful William Morris quotes, such an interesting and talented man, we love to learn more about him via his words as well as his designs!