Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo regarded himself as "an artist with a scientific training". His early designs were greatly influenced by the lively debate surrounding evolutionary theory after the publication of Charles Darwin's texts in the late 19th century. He took inspiration from vibrant, vital natural forms. The design for this cretonne cotton fabric suggests a blustery day at Cromer, on the Norfolk coast: seaweed flowing in the push and pull of an underwater current, whilst flowers and darting birds are carried in opposite directions on the wind above.


  • Title: 'Cromer Bird' cretonne
  • Creator: Century Guild, Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, Simpson & Godlee
  • Date Created: designed c.1884
  • Type: textile
  • Rights: © William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Physical Dimensions: 91.4 x 83.8 cm
  • Object Number: F84
  • Medium: block-printed cotton
  • Credit line: Mackmurdo bequest, 1942

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