Sublime Symmetry - Latest News



Fancy your chances of having your own art displayed in a major new exhibition?

We are delighted to announce a new competition for children and young adults to create their own artworks inspired by the ‘fantastical beasts’, animals and symmetrical shapes that feature in the designs of William De Morgan, the leading ceramic artist of the arts and crafts movement.

Two winners will have their work featured in the family area of a Guildhall Art Gallery’s new Sublime Symmetryexhibition which celebrates De Morgan’s work.

How do I enter?


  • If you’re aged between 13 and 16, just create your own artistic response to one of five De Morgan masterpieces (see images above) using any medium you like, from pencil & paper, acrylic, or clay to street art, crafts, photography, sculpture or a digital design.

  • If you’re aged between 6 and 12 you can do this too, or if you prefer you can download (below) an outline template of a De Morgan masterpiece that you can print off to work from, colour-in, or decorate in any way that you like.


To enter, simply send us a clear image of your artwork with your age. You can do this by emailing, or by posting it with the hashtag #MyDeMorgan to your Twitter or Instagram newsfeed or on our Facebook page.

You will be contacted in the summer if you are successful. Good luck!

View the competition Terms & Conditions. Competition closes Friday 6 July.


Sublime Symmetry is now on Display at Guildhall Art Gallery, London EC2V 5AE, until 28 October 2018.

Opening hours

​Mon - Sat 9am-5pm
Sun 12noon-4pm


As part of the exhibition, Guildhall Art Gallery will be holding a number of events, including a Late Night, talks, family events and more.


Evelyn De Morgan: radical artist

Join Dr Richenda Roberts to explore the life, work and times of Evelyn De Morgan, a radical artist of the late-Victorian period and wife of influential ceramicist William De Morgan. Book here.

  • 4 September, 2pm-3pm
  • FREE

Sophia De Morgan: Spiritualist, Suffragist, and Founder of Bedford College

Join Dr Lucy Ella Rose to learn more about pioneering, though under-studied, women’s rights campaigner, Sophia De Morgan (1809–1892) - writer, social activist, abolitionist, anti-vivisectionist, spiritualist, friend of George Eliot, and mother to ceramicist William De Morgan. Book here.

  • 11 September, 2pm-3pm
  • FREE

Pioneering women in mathematics

Join Dr June Barrow-Green as she talks about historic women with a talent for mathematics, and how, in defiance of social and intellectual mores of the day, still achieved incredible feats. Book here.

  • 9 October, 2pm-3pm
  • FREE

Curator Talks

Join exhibition curator Sarah Hardy (De Morgan Foundation) for a tour of the sublime ceramics. Learn more about De Morgan’s life and work, and how mathematics influences his creative designs. Talks are FREE, just turn up.


Wednesday, 12.30pm-1.15pm

Upcoming Dates

  • 27 June
  • 25 July
  • 15 August


De Morgan at Postman's Park

A short curator-led walk from Guildhall Art Gallery, to Postman’s Park (5 mins away)

In 1900 the great Victorian Artist G. F. Watts collaborated with William De Morgan to create a moving and beautiful Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice at Postman's Park in central London. The memorial commemorates those who lost their lives saving others, and can be viewed just a few minutes away from Guildhall Art Gallery. Discover more about this fascinating and emotional tribute to ordinary people and extraordinary acts of heroism and the exciting artistic collaboration between two of Victorian Britain's greatest artists.

Join Sarah Hardy (De Morgan Foundation Curator), Cicely Robinson (Brice Curator, Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village) and Tessa Kilgarriff, (Curatorial Fellow, Watts Gallery), on free tours starting from Guildhall Art Gallery, for family and adults audiences. FREE, just turn up


  • 11am-12noon, Families
  • 2-3pm, Adults

Upcoming Dates


  • Saturday 21 July
  • Wednesday 22 August
  • Saturday 8 Sept




Sublime Symmetry is coming to London

From 11 May 2018 to 28 October 2018 the De Morgan Foundation's highly-acclaimed touring exhibition Sublime Symmetry will be on view at Guildhall Art Gallery, London. Find out more here:


Sublime Symmetry Symposium

On 13th January the De Morgan Foundaton held a symposium to celebrate the success of the exhibition and to mark the centenary of William De Morgan's death. Extensive notes from talks presented on the day are available here or by clicking the image below.




Object of the Week

Everyone has their favourite piece in the exhibition. Sarah Hardy, the curator of Sublime Symmetry discusses hers, Fish and Net Vase




Sublime Symmetry Tour - Final venue


The De Morgan Foundation’s national touring exhibition "Sublime Symmetry: the mathematics behind William De Morgan’s Ceramic Designs” has been hugely successful, achieving over 50,000 visitors in its first year, with very positive reviews and an imaginative and varied programme of supporting activities and events at each venue of the tour; Towneley Hall in Burnley, Cannon Hall in Barnsley, Torre Abbey in Torquay, and the New Walk Gallery in Leicester, and a full day symposium in London.  As well as its aim of using art in the teaching of mathematics, particularly at Key Stage 2, it has provided wide and varied public access to the De Morgan Collection across the country.

It is with great regret that we are unable to show the exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow as planned.  Unfortunately, changes to the space allocated to the exhibition mean the venue is no longer suitable to house the exhibition, deliver all the related content and activities, and accommodate the anticipated number of visitors. We will schedule another venue for the exhibition in due course, details to be advised once confirmed, in the meantime it can be enjoyed at the New Walk Gallery in Leicester until 5th March 2017.

We are most grateful to funders the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund/Museums Association, the London Mathematical Society, and The Art Fund: Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant, for their generous support of the exhibition.




Sublime Symmetry - 3 minute talk

To watch a short film of exhibition curator Sarah Hardy discussing the exhibition at the New Walk Gallery, click here





Sublime Symmetry at the New Walk Gallery - Leicester
10th  December 2016  -  5th  March 2017 

Sublime Symmetry opened at the New Walk Gallery in Leicester at the beginning of December. The displays encorporate some of the New Walk's own De Morgan ceramics which encompass symmetry within their designs. It was great to work with the curator's at the New Walk to explore their collection and include relevant works within the exhibition. 





Sublime Symmetry smashes visitor figure targets at Torre Abbey

It was always a risk opening a a temporary exhibition in the winter in a seaside summer-holiday resort. However, on the last day of Sublime Symmetry at Torre Abbey in Torquay, we welcomed our 10,095th visitor through the door, pushing the total number of visitors to over 3000 more than the whole Abbey recieved in the same period last year.

We are incredibly pleased that so many people came especially to Torre Abbey to see this exhibition and hope that you'll be able to catch us in Leicester from Saturday 10th December, if you missed us in Devon.




We're Moving Again - Sublime Symmetry is on its way to Torquay in Devon

Follwing a very successful three months at Cannon Hall in Barnsley, Sublime Symmetry is moving to Torre Abbey in Torquay this week and will open in time for Heritage Open weekend on Saturday 10th September. We look forward to seeing you there




Sublime Symmetry is now on show at Cannon Hall in Barnsley.

Join 15,300 other who enjoyed the exhibition whilst in was on show at Towneley Hall. The family friendly exhibition is free to visit and runs until Sunday 4th September 2016 in Barnsley.







Sublime Symmetry Easter Events, Towneley Hall, Burnley.

Easter Saturday, 26th March


Sublime Symmetry curator talk

Sarah Hardy, Curator of the Sublime Symmetry Exhibition, introduces William De Morgan, his progressive family, avant-garde friends and beautiful ceramics in this 40 minute lecture. Learn about De Morgan's career as a pre-eminent Victorian designer, his interest in Islamic and Middle Eastern design, penchant for invention and, ultimately, his rigid mathematical ordering of his wonderful designs. The lecture is centred around ceramics in the Sublime Symmetry exhibition, which Sarah will view with you after the lecture and take questions on the work of William De Morgan.

Free to attend, call 01282 477130 to book places.


Easter Monday, 28th March

12.30 to 16.30

Sublime Symmetry Storytelling and Maths Children's Activities

William De Morgan once journeyed with his friends in a rowing boat down the River Thames and wrote letters all about this adventure. Join exhibition curator, Sarah Hardy, as she reads these letters and shows us the ceramics in the exhibition to relive De Morgan's journey and stop off unexpectedly with fish, ringing bells and mathematics along the way!


Free, drop in. No need to book. Suitable for ages 4-11. Children must be accompanied by an adult.



Sublime Symmetry is now open at Towneley Hall, Burnley, until 5th June 2016.

The exhibition is free with entry to Towneley Hall.

Open from 12.00-17.00 daily, except Fridays (open over Easter and on Good Friday).

How to find Towneley Hall


Thank you to everyone who came to the opening on 5th March and made the event such a success.

From left to right: Tony Mitchell, President of the Towneley Hall Society, Eric Knowles, Ceramic Specialist, Prof. Alexandre Borovik, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Manchester, Sarah Hardy, Exhibition Curator, Sir Simon Towneley.