Title:ComptonArtist:John Henry Dearle
Merton Abbey Date:1896Creation Place:Europe, England, LondonCredit Line:The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial FundAccession Number:88.49
William Morris is credited with developing the most innovative design style of the nineteenth century, often referred to as British Arts and Crafts. Using soft-toned natural dyes, hand block-printing processes and a distinctive design aesthetic; he created fabrics and wallpapers that were immediately recognizable and immensely popular. Morris's designs generally depict flowers of the English countryside, interpreted in a simplified, two-dimensional aspect that retains the essential character of the particular plant without including excess detail.
John Henry Dearle joined Morris & Co. in 1878. His varied roles within the company included glass painting, tapestry weaving, and fabric design, and by 1890 he achieved the status of lead designer. He assumed the position of Art Director upon Morris's death in 1896 and managed the company's textile works until his death in 1932. Compton, one of Dearle's best-known patterns, was designed for Compton Hall, Wolverhampton, England.