William Morris. Strawberry Thief . “You can picture my Father going out in the early morning and watching the rascally thrushes at work on the fruit beds…”


S T R A W B E R R Y
T H I E F
Circa 1936. Plain weave cotton, indigo discharge print process.
William Morris (British, 1834-1896).

Perhaps the most recognizable of Morris’s textiles, Strawberry Thief celebrates the thrushes in Kelmscott Manor’s garden. May Morris remarked, “You can picture my Father going out in the early morning and watching the rascally thrushes at work on the fruit beds and telling the gardener who growls, ‘I’d like to wring their necks!’ that no bird in the garden must be touched.”

With Strawberry Thief, Morris perfected the indigo-discharge process, which required the entire cloth to be dyed blue before it was bleached and block printed, in this case with more colors than any of his other textiles.

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