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Sublime Symmetry


Guildhall Art Gallery
(off Gresham Street)
London EC2V 5AE

Opening hours

​Mon - Sat 9am-5pm
Sun 12noon-4pm

​FREE | 11 May 2018 – 28 October 2018

Uncover the mathematics behind De Morgan’s exquisite work.

William De Morgan was undoubtedly the most intriguing and inventive ceramic designer of the late Victorian period. His conjuring of fantastical beasts to wrap themselves around the contours of ceramic hollowware and his manipulation of fanciful flora and fauna to meander across tile panels fascinated his contemporaries and still captivates today.

Over his career William De Morgan revolutionised the field of ceramic design with his reinvention of lusterware, dedication to studying and perfecting Middle Eastern designs, invention and use of his own kilns and his wonderful patterns. Despite, in his time, being best known as an author, De Morgan was a talented potter and possessed great mathematical aptitude which he applied to his work.


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

Family Days

To celebrate London Craft Week and launch Sublime Symmetry, join Guildhall Art Gallery for two days of family activities including workshops, arts & crafts, talks and more. Find out more

  • 12 - 13 May
  • FREE

Late Night

Enjoy a night of arts, crafts, music and cocktails at a Sublime Symmetry Late Night. Find out more.

  • 18 May, 7pm-10pm
  • £15 (plus booking fee)


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

  • 16 May
  • 27 June
  • 25 July
  • 15 August

Sublime Symmetry comes to Guildhall Art Gallery following a UK wide tour and presents the only opportunity to discover the exhibition in London. It has been curated by the De Morgan Foundation.

Sublime Symmetry has been made possible with the generous support of the City of London Corporation, the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, the London Mathematical Society and The Art Fund: Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant.