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Each year at the Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, Cecil Woolf Publishers Bloomsbury Heritage monographsintroduces several new monographs in its Bloomsbury Heritage series. Here’s what’s new on the shelf this year:

  • Jakubowicz, Karina. Garsington Manor and the Bloomsbury Group. No. 77. ISBN 978-1-907286-48-3. Price £10
  • Maggio, Paula. Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and the Great War, Seeing Peace Through an Open Window: Art, Domesticity & the Great War. No. 78. ISBN 978-1-907286-49-0. Price £10
  • Newman, Hilary. Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Richardson: Contemporary Writers. No. 79. ISBN 978-1-907286-50-6. Price £10
  • Twinn, Frances. Leslie Stephen and His Sunday Tramps. No. 80. ISBN 978-1-907286-51-3. Price £10

You can view the full list of monographs available in the Bloomsbury Heritage Series and the War Poets Series.

To order one or more of the volumes, contact:

cecil woolf publishersCecil Woolf Publishers
1 Mornington Place
London NW1 7RP, UK
Tel: 020 7387 2394 or +44 (0)20 7387 2394 from outside the UK
cecilwoolf@gmail.com
 
Bronte Parsonage group photo

Outside the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth with conference organizers Jane de Gay and Tom Breckin; Rebecca Yorke of The Brontë Society; International Virginia Woolf Society President Kristin Czarnecki; and Paula Maggio of Blogging Woolf.

Updated July 25

If you weren’t able to make it to the 26th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at Leeds Trinity University in Leeds, England, you can read more about it, view photographs, and watch a video. Here are links:

You can also search #Woolf2016 on Twitter and Facebook. And to follow Virginia’s travels around Greece, England and other such places, follow #travelswithvirginiawoolf.

Hamnett illustration

Nina Hamnett illustration of an Omega interior for Roger Fry’s The Artist as Decorator 1917. Copyright The Courtauld Gallery.

 

David Herbert’s newly opened exhibition A Room of Their Own: Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30 at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, England brings together rarely seen pieces of fine and decorative art to suggest the essence of lost Bloomsbury spaces.

The exhibition works from illustrations and photographs to recreate lost interiors that have been destroyed due to changing tastes and fashions. In this small gallery, nestled on the River Avon in the centre of Bath, Bloomsbury pieces are brought back together providing a springboard from which to visualise oneself eating breakfast or listening to music, as Virginia Woolf would have done, in a Bloomsbury room.

Opening with three portraits of the co-founders of the Omega Workshops, Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell, and Duncan Grant, the exhibition then leads into the first “room” which recreates the style of Fry’s 1917 Omega interior design for The Artist as Decorator, illustrated for Colour Magazine by Nina Hamnett. The bold abstraction typical of the early Omega workshop style is felt here and one can imagine how impressive the original space must have been. Of particular interest is a Lily Pond design screen by Duncan Grant which is radiant, hinting at the brightness of colour originally intended.  A lovingly worn geometric painted table also sits in front of the fire place which is dressed exactly how Hamnett depicted it in her 1917 illustration.

DG tulips

Duncan Grant, unfinished work Tulips in a Vase 1914.

The exhibition is particularly strong in its comparison of decorative and fine art and its consideration of the relationship between the two. Duncan Grant’s Cat on a Cabbage design for a cross-stitch chair seat sits next to his painting The White Jug and shows his use and exploration of abstraction across forms. His unfinished painting Tulips in a Vase also provides a rare glimpse into his process as a painter and leaves the bare skeleton sketch of the design uncovered, half way through building up colour and shape in paint.

VB fan and sketches

Vanessa Bell Adam and Eve design fan hung with figurative sketches.

There are also rarely seen works by Vanessa Bell, including her painting Vase, Hat and Flowers and a fan vibrantly painted in her Adam and Eve design. Here the Omega interest in clothing and accessories is hinted at. Well-known Omega fabric designs also fall down the walls and over chairs giving an impression of how textiles were an important medium at the Omega. Indeed, such an exhibition as A Room of Their Own which brings together the fine and decorative arts, hanging them side by side, succeeds in representing the Omega Workshops’ “wider aesthetic project of proclaiming modernism as an overall experience”1.

Omega Showcase

Display case with Duncan Grant’s Grapes fabric design glimpsed in the background.

The exhibition moves through later designs to an impression of Dorothy Wellesley’s dining room at her Sussex home, Penns-in-the-Rocks, created by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant in 1929. Here the colours have turned more towards elegant pastels and the wall panels depict classically influenced scenes such as a jug on a plinth and three nude bathers. Finally there is a nod to Charleston, a fantastic black three-fold screen designed by Duncan Grant and embroidered by Ethel Grant, and photographs of Duncan Grant in the studio at Charleston in 1974. Thus we see the progression of Bloomsbury style and the range of moods that it encompassed.

Other notable highlights are a Vanessa Bell teapot painted for her sister Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry’s abstract marquetry giraffe design cabinet, and a rare example of painted furniture by Dora Carrington.

A Room of Their Own: Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30 at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, England runs until 4 September, 2016.

1Koppen, R.S. (2009), Virginia Woolf, Fashion, and Literary Modernity, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

 

I first met Cecil Woolf in 2007. I was attending my first Virginia Woolf conference, the seventeenth annual conference held at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

I, of course, was in awe. He, of course, was friendly, gracious, and encouraging. If I hadn’t known it already, I would not have imagined he was someone “important.” He was just so genuine and down to earth.

Since then, we have become friends, corresponding by snail mail and email and meeting at Woolf conferences. He sends me books. I send him cards. He gives me chocolates. I give him manuscripts.

For a long time, I have imagined coming to London and walking around Virginia’s favorite city with her nephew, the son of her husband Leonard’s youngest brother. Today my imagined day of “street haunting” became reality. Cecil and I spent seven hours exploring Bloomsbury together, with a stop for lunch and another for tea as we walked nearly six miles, according to my helpful but intrusive phone app.

As you can imagine, the conversation with this witty, insightful, and well-read man never flagged — and neither did his energy on this fine June day in London.

Here are some photos from the day. I only wish I could share the conversation as easily.

Cecil and I on a bench in Tavistock Square garden. Virginia and Leonard lived at 52 Tavistock Square from 1924-1939.

Cecil Woolf and I share a bench in Tavistock Square garden. Virginia and Leonard lived at 52 Tavistock Square from 1924-1939.

Cecil Woolf with the bust of Virginia Woolf located in Tavistock Square garden, dedicated in 2004.

Cecil Woolf with the bust of Virginia Woolf located in Tavistock Square garden, dedicated in 2004.

Cecil Woolf planted this Gingko biloba tree in Tavistock Square garden on Dec. 16, 2004, to commemorate the centennial of the arrival of his uncle Leonard in Colombo, Ceylon

Cecil Woolf planted this Gingko biloba tree in Tavistock Square garden on Dec. 16, 2004, to commemorate the centennial of the arrival of his uncle Leonard in Colombo, Ceylon.

Cecil Woolf at 46 Gordon Square, where Virginia lived from 1905-1907.

Cecil Woolf at 46 Gordon Square, where Virginia lived from 1905-1907.

No walk around London would be complete without a stop at a bookstore, so we visited Persephone Books.

No walk around London with Cecil Woolf would be complete without a stop at a bookstore, so we visited Persephone Books, 59 Lamb Conduit Street.

We were guided along the way by "Virginia Woolf Life and London: Bloomsbury and Beyond," written by Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Cecil's wife of many years.

We were guided along the way by “Virginia Woolf Life and London: Bloomsbury and Beyond,” the classic Woolf guidebook written by Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Cecil’s wife of many years.

Speaking of books, Cecil and Jean publish several new volumes in the Bloomsbury Heritage Series each year, introducing them at the annual Woolf conference.

Speaking of books, Cecil and Jean publish several new volumes in their Bloomsbury Heritage Series each year, introducing them at the annual Woolf conference. Here is part of this year’s display.

Yesterday, once the 26th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf ended, about a dozen of us opted to take the 90-minute bus trip to Giggleswick, the village that houses Giggleswick School. The outing was put together as the final official event of this year’s Woolf conference.

It was at Giggleswick School where Woolf’s cousin Will Vaughan served as headmaster. And she stayed with him and his wife Madge in the headmaster’s home during the period of time in which she made her trip to the Brontë Parsonage in November 1904.

The weather was quite English; it rained from the moment we got off the bus until we boarded it again. Our gracious hosts at Giggleswick School treated us to a beautifully laid tea and a look inside the headmaster’s house.

We then split up, with a few of us heading to Giggleswick Chapel. It took four years to build and was finished in 1901, so was quite new when Woolf visited. There, we were given an informative tour by Barbara Gent, the school’s librarian and archivist, and a concert of organ and piano music by the school’s music director, James Taylor, and the chapel’s organist, Philip Broadhouse.

Afterward, Anne Reus, who assisted with organizing the conference and is a Ph.D. student at Leeds Trinity University, shepherded us to The Black Horse Pub, where we ordered a hot meal while sheltering from the cold rain. With immense dedication, she ran back and forth through that rain — without an umbrella — making sure the bus knew where to find us.

Despite the weather, every one of us was happy to be at Giggleswick — even the nine adventurers of our party who chose to go on the strenuous 6.5-mile hike up the hillside to the caves that Woolf visited when she strode out for a country walk. At the end of the day they climbed on board our bus, drenched but smiling.

After the rigorous hike, which included climbs over stiles built of rocks and treks alongside cows and sheep, Beth Rigel Daugherty said, “If I ever again hear anyone say that Woolf was fragile, I will tell them that is a lie!”

Here are some photos from the day. You can tell by these that I did not go on the walk led by indomitable conference organizer Jane deGay, but I so admire those who did. By the time we headed for Leeds, they were wet, chilled, hungry — and exhilarated.

The gracious Barbara Gent, archivist and librarian at Giggleswick School, read us Woolf's diary entries made during her stay.

The gracious Barbara Gent, archivist and librarian at Giggleswick School, read us Woolf’s diary entries made during her stay.

Our lovely tea included real china and scones with jam and clotted cream.

Our lovely tea included real china and scones with jam and clotted cream.

Giggleswick plaque

Headmaster's house at Giggleswick School

Headmaster’s house at Giggleswick School

The headmaster of Giggleswick School accepts a conference T-shirt as a gift of thanks for allowing us into his home.

Mark Turnbull, headmaster of Giggleswick School, accepts a conference T-shirt as a gift of thanks for allowing us into his home as his wife looks on.

It's easy to imagine Woolf warming herself at this fieplace in the sitting room.

It’s easy to imagine Woolf warming herself at this fieplace in the sitting room.

View from the drawing room window at the headmaster’s house

 

The room at the upper far right is the one that Woolf used during her 1904 stay.

The room at the upper far right is the one that Woolf used during her 1904 stay.

The lovely front garden includes poppies, a fitting flower since the school and the chapel include tributes to the more than 200 Giggleswick School alumni who were lost in the Great War. Eight hundred served.

The lovely front garden includes poppies, a fitting flower since the school and the chapel include tributes to the more than 200 Giggleswick School alumni who were lost in the Great War. Eight hundred served.

Giggleswick Chapel

Giggleswick Chapel, funded by the generosity of Walter Morrison and constructed using stone from local quarries. The architect was Thomas Jackson of Oxford.

Dome of the chapel

The dome of the chapel features an eye decorated in mosaic with gold ink detail.

Interior showing portion of the Italian marble floor

Interior showing portion of the floor of Belgian marble and pews made of cedar from Argentina

View of the rear of the chapel, with statues of King Edward VI, patron of the school, and Queen Victoria.

View of the rear of the chapel, with statues of King Edward VI, patron of the school, and Queen Victoria.

As a prelude to the 26th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at Leeds Trinity University in Leeds, England, Woolfians visited the Brontë Parsonage and Museum in Haworth.

The chief find of the day was this guestbook entry made by Woolf in her maiden name of Virginia Stephen on Nov. 24, 1904. She was the first of only two visitors that day. The other was her companion Margaret Vaughan, wife of her cousin Will, headmaster of Giggleswick School.

The book is stored in the library that houses books by and about the Brontës, pictured below.

A story on the conference is in the Yorkshire Post at this link: http://bit.ly/1W0dV7l

Page in the Brontë Parsonage and Museum guestbook signed by Virginia Woolf in 1904.

Page in the Brontë Parsonage and Museum guestbook signed by Virginia Woolf in 1904.

Behind-the-scenes room at the Brontë Parsonage Museum where the guestbook signed by Virginia Woolf is stored, along with other materials by and about the Brontës.

Behind-the-scenes room at the Brontë Parsonage Museum where the guestbook signed by Virginia Woolf is stored, along with other materials by and about the Brontës.

Brontë Parsonage Museum

Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, England, in Yorkshire

Virginia Woolf is on the move — and she is posting her travel pics on Instagram and Twitter.

Last month she visited Greece, stopping off in Athens and Santorini. She toured Athens by bus, revisited the Acropolis on foot, was a guest at a Greek wedding on Santorini and spent some time near the water.

This month she is headed to the 26th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and Heritage at Leeds Trinity University in Leeds, England. If you’re going, too, and tweeting about your trip, use the conference hashtag #Woolf2016. Virginia will also be stopping off in London. And she may take some detours along the way.

You can follow her travels on Twitter by searching #travelswithvirginiawoolf. Meanwhile, here are her collected tweets from her trip to Greece.

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