If I had a time machine there are lots of places I'd go, mostly involving shopping expeditions.
One stop on the itinerary would be 449 Oxford Street, London
I'd drop by Morris and Co. to buy some wallpaper,
fabric and a few rugs.
I would not set the dial for June 1, 1873 because Clover Adams from America would be in the store, shopping for the same things. She was not pleased with what she saw and wrote her father:
Clover (Marian) Adams and her dog
"I said 'arsenic' and the salesman coolly replied, 'If you wish them without arsenic you must pay more for them!'
Eden in Sage Green
We do not use poison greens in our reproduction prints!
Then she tells her father:
"I've asked Bumstead who is here to blow up the poet."
By the poet we can assume she means William Morris. Her reaction seems a bit overblown.
I am never going ANYWHERE with Clover Adams. We would undoubtedly get into a heated discussion about interior design.
Six years later she and husband Henry are back in London, invited to a reception at the Royal Academy where
"every art rag-bag seems to have been ransacked to adorn the women....
Pre-Raphaelite style by Dante Gabriel Rosetti
"Art Rag Bag" Style
according to Clover.
"...They look like illustrations in Christina Rosetti's Goblin Market---fat fugues in pea-green; lean symphonies in chewing gum color; all in a rusty minor key."
GoblinsAnd just who is she calling fat?
Well, each to her own taste. I'd trade my best Fiestaware bowls for a chance to go to a Pre-Raphaelite
party in 1879. And I like pea-green.
3 colors from my new Morris Apprentice line
called Fennel Green, Red House Red and Cocoa Brown
But some things do last. I believe you can still shop at
449 Oxford Street, same building.
They just don't sell the same things anymore.
And while you are in London you must visit the Tate Britain gallery
where an exhibit Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde is up until January 12, 2013.
Actually, Clover Adams was a very interesting woman, smart, talented---iconoclastic as you can see by her attitude towards Morris design---but cursed by family depression (she and several other family members were suicides).
See a portfolio of her photographs at the Massachusetts Historical Society here:
And read her letters
The Letters of Mrs. Henry Adams. 1865-1883. Edited by Ward Thoron. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1936.
The letters quoted here are on pages 116 and 151.