‘The Making of Kelmscott Manor (1871-1939)’
Central Saint Martins
‘The Making of Kelmscott Manor (1871-1939)’ addresses the two-fold subject of the Victorian history of Kelmscott and the emergence of the house’s collective memory up to World War II. This investigation falls into the fields of art and cultural history combined with memory studies.
Today Kelmscott is inherently associated with the designer William Morris (1834-1896). Yet, the house was originally shared by Morris and the Pre-Raphaelite painter and poet D.G. Rossetti (1828-1882), whose remembrance in connection with the manor had gradually, but not completely, waned.
The thesis investigates when and how the house entered the public domain, and how it was remembered. This research also explores the lived-in experience of each occupant, recovering Rossetti’s tenure, whilst examining Morris’s evolving relationship with Kelmscott.
This research will re-evaluate the cultural significance of this iconic house, whilst making a contribution to the understanding of Victorian artist houses of the avant-garde, the history of Pre-Raphaelism and Arts and Crafts Movement design, as well as Morris and Rossetti scholarship. It will contribute to the field of historiography.
Professor Caroline Dakers