William and Evelyn De Morgan: 'Two of the Rarest Spirits of the Age’

This is a historic exhibition. It is no longer available to visit and this page is only retained as a record of the previous event. For current and future exhibitions, visit our What's On page.

Night and Sleep by Evelyn De Morgan (1878) © De Morgan Collection, courtesy of the De Morgan Foundation


Until 26 September 2020 (historic exhibition)


Sir Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy, described married couple William and Evelyn De Morgan as ‘two of the rarest spirits of the age’. 

William De Morgan was undoubtedly the most intriguing and inventive ceramic designer of the late Victorian period. He was life-long friends with William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones and created stunning arts and crafts tiles and ceramics to complement their fashionable designs for interiors. William was the son of a mathematician and had a classical art training at the Royal Academy School. As a result, he always underpinned his elaborate designs with geometric structures, borrowed from medieval design and Islamic art. These complex influences on his art are explored in this exhibition.

In 1887, William married professional artist Evelyn Pickering. Her remarkable paintings bear the influence of early Italian Renaissance art as well as that of her Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries, yet have a distinctive style. Her unique paintings also projected her political concerns. She was deeply affected by the outbreak of the First World War, and created many pictures in response to the conflict. This exhibition showcases her peace paintings and the preparatory drawings she made for them, giving an overview of her working process and ideals.

This exhibition explores the exceptional work created by this pair of very different and equally intriguing 19th/20th century British artists.

The exhibition has been produced by the De Morgan Foundation.

Changes to your visit:

We are encouraging visitors to book tickets for the exhibition online - click here to book

When you visit, you will notice some changes to help ensure the safety of our visitors and staff. Read more here.

Image: Night and Sleep, Evelyn de Morgan, 1878 © De Morgan Collection, courtesy of the De Morgan Foundation


De Morgan Collection De Morgan Collection