William Frend De Morgan (1839-1917) & Evelyn De Morgan (1855-1919)
William Frend De Morgan was an accomplished artist, inventor, and author. He is one of several famous people buried at Brookwood who have an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.
De Morgan was an important ceramic artist, who entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1859. He met William Morris and Edward Burne Jones in 1863, and collaborated with Morris for many years. De Morgan experimented with stained glass, moved into pottery, and by 1872 was almost wholly producing ceramics.
Failing health meant he gave up this work in the early 1900s. Thereafter he turned to writing and became a successful novelist. Joseph Vance: An Ill-Written Autobiography (1906) was a best seller.
His wife Evelyn De Morgan (neé Pickering), was a noted Pre-Raphaelite artist. She is one of several famous people buried at Brookwood who have an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.
She began her studies at the Slade School of Art (1867) and won several awards. In 1887 she married William De Morgan. Her uncle, the artist John Spencer Stanhope, encouraged her chosen career. He lived in Florence and she and her husband visited him many times. It was in Italy that she moved away from classical subjects and developed her own style of allegory and symbolism.
From 1888 Evelyn de Morgan exhibited regularly at the Grosvenor Gallery. From 1890 to 1914, due to the decline of William’s health, the couple would spend each winter in Florence.
The distinctive headstone, with its two figures, was designed by Evelyn after her husband’s death in 1917. It was carved by Sir George Frampton.
In recent years, the headstone was beginning to lean over the grave space. The De Morgan Centre agreed to undertake the necessary remedial work and set the headstone upright. This was done and the work was completed during the summer of 1993.
More recently Brookwood Cemetery had the headstone cleaned and restored. The memorial is listed Grade II.
Visit the De Morgan Centre Website