Christopher Dresser traveled to America in 1876 to attend the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition en route to Japan. In contrast to William Morris' dedication to hand craftsmanship, Dresser could see a future in which high quality design was married to machine production, and he happily sold a large number of his designs for walls and ceilings to American manufacturers with that purpose in mind. He returned to the US from Japan in 1877 with an impressive array of Japanese art that he purchased in his role as agent for Tiffany & Co. in New York.
By the end of the 19th century, Dresser's unique style had fallen out of favor, and he died in relative obscurity. It was not until the end of the 20th century that his position as a unique design visionary was fully recognized.