Collection Information.

A man throws coal into a large brick kiln

William and Evelyn De Morgan were husband-and-wife artists who were friends with the Wattses.

William decorated his pottery with flowers and animals from many different cultures. Mary Watts decorated the Watts Chapel in a similar way. Examine William's pots and you will see symbols and colours from Chinese and Islamic art. He wasn't worried about meaning, only how beautiful they looked.

His wife Evelyn De Morgan had a different approach to her paintings. Each flower, gesture, object, and natural form she used is a clue to the painting's meaning. Her friend G F Watts shared this approach in his painting.

Evelyn De Morgan's (1855–1919) jewel-like canvases are often dismissed as Pre-Raphaelite. If you look closer you'll see they are actually paintings of her feminist and spiritualist ideals. Full of rich symbolism such as roses which represent love, you can read the messages in her paintings.

'It's surprising for more reasons than one to discover the artist is a woman!' wrote one journalist about De Morgan's paintings. Women weren't supposed to be artists in the Victorian period.

Her husband William De Morgan (1839–1917) was the premiere ceramic designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement. You might be surprised that he also made mosaics, stained glass, oil paintings, and was an author. Most surprisingly, he was a feminist and campaigned for women's suffrage. He became the vice-president of the men's league for women's suffrage in 1913.