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Janet M. Torpy, MD
JAMA. 2009;302(10):1038. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1088.
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The Arts and Crafts movement, spearheaded by British creative genius William Morris and his longtime friend, schoolmate, and companion Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), heralded a major shift in the aesthetics of the late 19th and early 20th century. Rebelling against the automation and mind-numbing production pressure of the Industrial Age, Arts and Crafts artists attempted to recall the artisanship created by individuals who made one beautiful object at a time. Pomona (cover), a tapestry woven at Morris & Company's Merton Abbey Tapestry Works, reflects the simple design principles of Morris, Burne-Jones, and their colleagues. Based on a drawing of Pomona by Burne-Jones and a background by one of the Merton Abbey weavers—and later director—John Henry Dearle, the textile was actually woven by Walter Taylor and John Keich. Produced in 1906, the tapestry emerged during the peak of Merton Abbey's success. The Surrey atelier of Morris and partners produced many examples of exquisite fabric work from its first piece in 1883 (The Goose Girl) until Merton Abbey closed in 1940.

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Sir Edward Burne-Jones, figure artist (1833-1898), and Merton Abbey Tapestry Works, Pomona, from Flora and Pomona, 1906, British. Cotton, wool, and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave, 92.9×165.1 cm. Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago (http://www.artic.edu/aic/), Chicago, Illinois; Ida E. S. Noyes Fund, 1919.792. Photograph by Robert Lifson. Reproduction, The Art Institute of Chicago.



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