Portière made from Morris & Co. Oak damask (one of four)

Embroidered by May Morris (English, 1862–1938), Designed by William Morris (English, 1834–1896)

Object Place: England


257.8 x 99.1 cm (101 1/2 x 39 in.) (including fringe)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk damask, embroidered with silk in darning, satin, stem and couching, with silk fringe and cotton lining

Not On View


Europe, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Silk yarns embroidered on green floral damask “Oak” designed by William Morris for Morris & Co., 1880-1881. Signed “MM” (May Morris, daughter). Large ogival motif outlined by attenuated tulips; inner floral palmettes; cherries, peonies, irises, etc. Inscription at top of panel: SUMMER . IS . ICUMEN . IN LOUDLY SING CUCCU


1892, commissioned by Mrs. J. Monro Longyear (nee Mary Hawley Beecher, d. 1931), Marquette, MI [see note 1]; 1933, sold at Longyear's estate auction by Pierce S. Haley Appraiser and Auctioneer, Boston, MA, lot 4 under section "Draperies," to Mr. J. S. Gordon, Brookline, MA [see note 2]; by descent to Myron K. and Natalie G. Stone, New York; gift of the Stones in memory of J. S. and Sadye Z. Gordon (Accession date: March 9, 1983)

[1] In 1903, Mrs. Longyear moved her household in its entirety to Brookline, MA, at which point this embroidery came to MA. See "Early Modern Textiles: From Arts and Crafts to Art Deco," Marianne Carlano and Nicola J. Shilliam, MFA Publications, 1993, pg. 19, for a full description of provenance and a picture of the embroideries hanging in the Longyear home in 1909.

[2] Copy of original auction catalogue and bill of sale in curatorial file.

Credit Line

In memory of J. S. and Sayde Z. Gordon from Myron K. and Natalie G. Stone