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John Christian

(b Leicester, 1797; d Oxford, Oct 29, 1872).

English publisher and patron. He was one of the earliest patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites, and his bequest of their works to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, is notable among collections formed in the 19th century in that it remains largely intact. (Unless otherwise stated, all works mentioned are in the Ashmolean.) In 1838 Combe became Superintendent of the Clarendon Press at Oxford University, a post he held until his death. Under his management, the Press, hitherto run at a loss, became a source of revenue; Combe’s own substantial share in the profitable business of printing Bibles and prayer books enabled him to acquire a considerable personal fortune. He was a genial, hospitable man of strong religious convictions, a friend and ardent supporter of the Tractarians; John Henry Newman officiated at his marriage in 1840. Combe and his wife Martha (1806–93) were active in many forms of charitable work, and Combe, who edited ...

Article

Peter Stansky

(b Walthamstow [now in London], March 24, 1834; d London, Oct 3, 1896).

English designer, writer and activist. His importance as both a designer and propagandist for the arts cannot easily be overestimated, and his influence has continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. He was a committed Socialist whose aim was that, as in the Middle Ages, art should be for the people and by the people, a view expressed in several of his writings. After abandoning his training as an architect, he studied painting among members of the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1861 he founded his own firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (from 1875 Morris & Co.), which produced stained glass, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics (see §3 below). Morris’s interests constantly led him into new activities such as his last enterprise, the Kelmscott Press (see §5 below). In 1950 his home at Walthamstow became the William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Society was founded in 1956, and it publishes a biannual journal and quarterly newsletter....