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"Strawberry Thief" Decorative Fabric

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William Morris (1834-96)Designed in 1883, produced since 1917 Merton Abbey, Surrey, United KingdomCotton fabric with indigo-background and 3-tone hand block print518 x 98 cm; Repeated: 52 x 45 cm

Two pairs of thrushes are situated among decorative floral designs with strawberry accents. The two pairs of thrushes are depicted in two very different scenes: one pair look as if they are singing toward a large blooming flower, while the other seem to be about to steal ripe strawberries from the vines interlaced throughout the fabric. William Morris was co-founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and is considered one of the innovators of applied art in England. Beginning in 1870, he designed decorative fabric, which he then produced by woodblock-printing the fabric by hand in his own workshop.