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Hammersmith Socialist League

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    c. 1884 (photographed)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print photograph

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 610, box B

The Socialist League was formed in 1884 with the artist and craftsman William Morris as a founder member. He can be seen here, standing at the front, fifth from the right. To his right is the photographer Emery Walker. Morris's wife Jane sits front centre and their daughter, May Morris, can be seen two seats along from her mother.

William Morris rejected industrial manufacture in favour of hand-craftsmanship. He believed that Capitalist mass manufacturing exploited and dehumanised workers and was a primary cause of Social disparity. Morris became involved in politics and eventually helped found The Socialist League. He also edited and published the League's newspaper ‘Commonweal’, in which his socialist texts ‘The Dream of John Ball’ (1888) and ‘News From Nowhere’ (1890) were first serialised. However, much to Morris's disapointment, Anarchists gained control of the league and he later broke with them to form the Hammersmith Socialist Society. Disillusioned by the factionalism of the Socialist movement Morris still continued to lecture and publish political essays until the late 1890s.

Place of Origin

England (made)


c. 1884 (photographed)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print photograph

Descriptive line

19thC; Anon, Hammersmith Socialist League inc W Morris

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Edited by Eleanor Clayton. Francesco Manacorda and Lynn Wray, Art Turning Left. How values changed making 1789-2013 Liverpool : Tate Liverpool, 2013. ISBN: 9781849760324.


Albumen Process; Photography

Subjects depicted



Photographs; Politics


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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