William Morris, Hilary Pepler and the Private Press Story
This September, the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft will celebrate the centenary of the St Dominic’s Press, founded in Ditchling in 1916. A number of exhibitions, displays and projects on craft will mark the legacy of the St Dominic’s Press on craft both in Ditchling and beyond.
In 1916, Ditchling resident Hilary Pepler’s acquisition of a Stanhope Press, one of the oldest iron hand-operated printing presses, marked a significant new chapter in the history of the private press movement in England. Pepler’s Ditchling Press (re-christened the St Dominic’s Press in 1918) also formed a crucial part of the story of the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic, and the community of artists and craftspeople who chose to settle in the village. The lead exhibition at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, The Book Beautiful: William Morris, Hilary Pepler and the Private Press Story, will explore the influence that William Morris and his prominent Kelmscott Press had on the development of the St Dominic’s Press.