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Oh, to be in London next week! The book launch of From Omega to Charleston: The Art of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant 1910-1934 will take place at Hatchards Piccadilly, 187 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LE, March 14.

A panel discussion with Piano Nobile will be held at 5 p.m.  The book launch is 6 – 8.30 p.m. Limited seating is available. RSVP by emailing events@hatchards.co.uk

About the book

Added below is information provided by the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain:

The book is published to accompany the exhibition From Omega to Charleston: The Art of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, 1910-1934, this fully illustrated catalogue includes an essay and catalogue entries by Richard Shone (author of Bloomsbury Portraits (1993) and curator of The Art of Bloomsbury, Tate, (1999), the book explores the unique creative relationship shared by Bell and Grant through rarely seen works from private collections, some of which are reproduced for the first time, and a selection of loans from The Charleston Trust.

Famous Women Dinner Service

The second half of the publication focusses exclusively on The Famous Women Dinner Service. Begun in 1932 at the request of the art historian and director of the National Gallery Kenneth Clark and his wife Jane, these fifty plates were decorated with images of famous women through the ages, from Sappho to Greta Garbo.

Considered lost by art historians for nearly 40 years, the dinner service forms an impressive testament to Bell and Grant’s close working partnership. A ground-breaking essay by Hana Leaper is succeeded by closer scholarship dedicated to the individual plates. Produced in partnership with the Paul MellonCentre for Studies in British Art, this research is published in print for the first time.

The glorious catalogue is available for view on the Issuu website.

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Lots of Woolf on the Web these days. Here are a few important sightings gleaned via Twitter links shared by Jane deGay and Maggie Humm.

  • Sentencing Orlando: Virginia Woolf and the Morphology of the Modernist Sentence, edited by Elsa Högberg and Amy Bromley, is a collection of 16 original essays offers fresh perspectives on Orlando through a unique attention to Woolf’s sentences.
  • Six Ways Virginia Woolf Pre-Empted Spring’s Key Looks,” by Kaye Fearon in British Vogue, Feb. 21, 2018.
  • Bonnie Greer on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, a podcast discussing the friendships, work and designs behind the artists, coordinated with the Virginia Woolf exhibition at Tate St Ives, 10 February – 29 April 2018. Then view her art walk below.

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This banner promoting fundraising for the Virginia Woolf statue was displayed at the banquet at the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at the University of Reading.

Virginia Woolf will be seated on a bench at Richmond upon Thames, Riverside, for all to see — and sit next to — if a heritage project seeking £50,000 through crowd-funding is successful.

Arts and education charity Aurora Metro launched the project to create the first ever life-sized, full-figure bronze depiction of Woolf. The London Borough of Richmond has recently given the public the opportunity to comment on the proposal via a consultation document on its website. Deadline for commenting is Dec. 10.

Society says sculptor fails to capture Woolf

The executive council of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain has discussed the proposal and told the Borough of Richmond that, although it fully endorses the idea of a full-figure statue of Woolf in the Borough to memorialize the importance of her time there, unfortunately it feels that sculptor Laury Dizengremel has not captured Woolf’s likeness, according to an email the group sent members.  The IVWS membership agrees.

See for yourself

You can see for yourself by visiting the Aurora Metro website, where you can view three photos depicting the statue. You can make a donation at that page as well. The statue project also has a Facebook page.

If you would like to volunteer to help raise funds for the Virginia Woolf statue, contact info@aurorametro.com

Movement for more women

The Woolf statue is part of a movement to see more women memorialized as statues around Great Britain.

In March 2016 in the New Statesman, Caroline Criado-Perez surveyed the nation’s statues by gender and discovered “a mere 2.7 per cent are of historical, non-royal women. If you’re a woman, your best chance at becoming a statue is to be a mythical or allegorical figure, a famous virgin, royal or nude.”

She has also launched a campaign to get a statue of a suffragette erected in Parliament Square and has a petition asking the Mayor of London to do so.

 

 

 

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Amongst a box filled with stretched canvas and paintings on wood, we re-discovered these fantastic landscapes of the local area. Both painted by Vanessa Bell, the first is of the old Coach Road looking towards Firle Tower on the right. The leaves on the trees appear to be blowing in the wind, the farmland and coach road painted lightly in pinks and purples to represent the human touch on the landscape…

Source: Local Landscapes of Firle | The Charleston Attic

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This post is reblogged from The Charleston Attic.

We visited the Courtauld Gallery’s display of items from the Omega Workshops. The Workshops operated in London between 1913 and 1919 under the directorship of Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Gra…

Source: From Patterned to Plain: A Visit to the Courtauld Gallery Exhibition on Omega Workshops | The Charleston Attic

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First, there was the conference. Then came the party. In London. With the Woolfs.

On the Monday evening following days one, two, three, and four of the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson hosted a party in London for their visiting Woolfian friends who remained in town.

I was happy to be among them. But I was chagrined to arrive on their doorstep 20 minutes early due to lightning fast service by my Uber driver.

Cecil and Jean, however, didn’t blink when they answered my too-early knock. They ushered me in and escorted me up the stairs, past stacks of books from their Bloomsbury Heritage Series and a smattering of hats from Jean’s famous collection.

Cecil poured me a glass of wine and settled me in their persimmon-colored sitting room that is casually decorated with original Bloomsbury art by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It was magical.

Cecil and Jean are tremendous hosts who know how to make each guest feel specially welcome, no matter when they arrive. They created a wonderful evening full of camaraderie, good food, and drink, while introducing us to their daughter Emma Woolf, author of numerous books and a regular BBC contributor.

Afterward, when thinking about the evening, a quote came to mind that perfectly captures the mood and magic of the evening.

No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself. – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929)

Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson hosted a post-conference party at their London home, which also houses Cecil Woolf Publishers.

This side table decorated by Duncan Grant held appetizers, as well as my little Virginia. #travelswithvirginiawoolf

Cecil Woolf and daughter Emma Woolf at the party.

Louise Higham, Suzanne Bellamy, John McCoy, and Eleanor McNees (far right) were among the party guests.

A firescreen painted by Duncan Grant.

Bloomsbury art above the fireplace, along with a piece by Suzanne Bellamy and a photo of Jean.

Judith Allen and her husband Steve.

More Bloomsbury art.

 

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The Vanessa Bell exhibit at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the first to feature Bell in a solo exhibit, is in its final days. But you can still get a look at it, whether you live in London or not.

Via the gallery

If you can, book your tickets before the exhibit ends June 4. However, if you can’t be there in person, you can visit the exhibit several ways.

Via the video

First, watch all or some of the series of videos on the exhibit. In this final Vanessa Bell video, co-curators Ian Dejardin and Sarah Milroy plant themselves in the last room of the exhibition to discuss the significance of Bell’s depiction of womanhood and reflect on one of her last self-portraits.

Via the catalogue

Second, buy the exhibit catalogue. I assure you it is breathtaking. When I first opened my full-color paperback version, I thoughtlessly wondered, “Which of these gorgeous paintings are Vanessa’s?” I quickly realized — all of them are. In the exhibit, as in the catalogue, Vanessa is permitted “to speak entirely for herself,” which Dulwich director and exhibit co-curator Dejardin notes in the catalogue preface that she has never before been allowed to do.

The catalogue’s 202 pages, along with the flyleafs and front and back covers, are filled with Bell’s art, along with photographs of the artist and Charleston, the Sussex home on which she lavished so much love and art. Many of her paintings — from her portraits to her abstracts — are reproduced in full-page format.

Besides Dejardin’s preface, it also includes background on Charleston and its artists. Author and exhibit co-curator Sarah Milroy discusses Bell as artist, mother, and feminist and puts the entirety of Bell’s life in an historical context. Hana Leaper expands upon that with her chapter, “Between London and Paris.” And Frances Spalding adds Virginia Woolf to the mix with her chapter on “Vanessa, Virginia and the Modern Portrait.”

Speaking of Spalding, a new edition of her biography of Woolf was released last year. The book was first published in 1983 and offers a fascinating and well-researched look at Bell, as well as other members of the Bloomsbury group. But one would expect nothing less from Spalding.

Via the shop

You can also shop the look, as I did. I went online and ordered some lovely items that promised to add the Bell look to my home. But whether they keep their promise or not, they are beautiful, they were shipped across the pond promptly, and I am enjoying them. Some of the items are sold out, but there are still a few available.

I was also excited to hear from Cecil Woolf that Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and the Great War, Seeing Peace Through an Open Window: Art, Domesticity & the Great War, my monograph on the two sisters that he published last year as part of his Bloomsbury Heritage series, is for sale at the Dulwich exhibit.

Items I purchased online from the Dulwich Picture Gallery Vanessa Bell exhibit.

 

 

 

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