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A founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, Morris sought to reintroduce joy into labor and to make everyday objects beautiful. He found inspiration in the medieval era, which he considered the period when art and daily life had been most unified. Strawberry Thief is based on medieval textiles Morris studied in British museums. The soild blue background and lack of modeling in the vegetation and birds contribute to a two-dimensional effect well suited to the fabric’s ultimate use as wall covering or light curtains. Morris’s simple motif of birds plucking strawberries from a stylized vine adds an extra element of movement to the design.
Charity Dye, Indianapolis; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art (1920).