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Posts Tagged ‘Bloomsbury Group’

Wandering around Bloomsbury on my first day in London this June, I happened upon the Morton Hotel.

I wasn’t exactly looking for it. But Ann Martin of the University of Saskatchewan had planted the name in my mind with an offhand comment at this year’s Woolf conference. Upon hearing that I would be alone in the capital city for a few days, she remarked, “You could have tea at the Morton.”

And so I did. I had written about tea at the Morton before — back in 2014 — but I had forgotten the details. Consequently, my afternoon relaxing in the hotel’s Library bar and lounge was full of a series of lovely surprises, all with a Bloomsbury touch.

I chose a seat in front of the fireplace, where I set in for a good read as well as refreshment. I relaxed with a selection of books about Bloomsbury laid out on a sofa table and the Morton’s traditional afternoon tea, which is truly lovely and reasonably priced at £15. It included a tiered dish of tiny crustless sandwiches, pastries and fresh fruit, along with scones served with jam and clotted cream.

All around me — from entry to ladies room — were photo collages of Bloomsbury figures as well as reproductions of art by the Bloomsbury group and Hogarth Press book covers designed by Vanessa Bell.

Next time you’re in London, take tea at the Morton. It’s open 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Meanwhile, take a look at what you’ll find.

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Entry to the Morton Hotel, 2 Woburn Place, in Russell Square

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The chandelier in the entryway features Hogarth Press book covers.

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Once inside the entry, look to your left and “take the lift to the basement.”

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The cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace, my chosen spot.

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Books ranging from Bloomsbury Rooms to Bloomsbury Portraits are available for browsing.

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Traditional afternoon tea: as delicious as it looks.

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Collages of Bloomsbury photos decorate the walls.

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This sitting area nestled into a corner featured art by Vanessa Bell.

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Even the hallway to the ladies room — as well as the ladies itself — was decorated with Bloomsbury art.

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For the first time, a major exhibit will focus on the work of Vanessa Bell. It will be mounted at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery and run from Feb. 8 to June 4, 2017.

Here’s a post from The Charleston Attic that spells out the role that Bloomsbury in the country plays in the exhibit:

‘Vanessa Bell 1876-1961’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery

“This week a team from Dulwich Picture Gallery visited Charleston for the day in order to photograph objects and interiors for the upcoming exhibition ‘Vanessa Bell 1876-1961’.”

Read the full post: ‘Vanessa Bell 1876-1961’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery | The Charleston Attic

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Read here on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s Library Art and Archives blog about the evolution of Virginia Woolf’s iconic short story Kew Gardens from its first edition with Vanessa Bell woodcut prints through the 1927 publication hand illustrated by Bell and on to RBG Kew’s new edition published in 2015 with contemporary illustrations by Livi Mills.

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1927 edition of Kew Gardens held in RBG, Kew’s LAA collection

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Here’s a post from The Charleston Attic blog on the kitchen at Charleston, Bloomsbury’s home in the country in Sussex.

For those who are regular readers of the The Charleston Attic blog, and have been following our progress as the newest Attic Interns through our work with the Angelica Garnett Gift, it may be of in…

Source: At Charleston, ‘The kitchen was always warm and smelt of fresh coffee.’

 

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The two new interns at Charleston continue to unearth work by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant as part of the Angelica Garnett Gift. They are photographing, cataloguing and publishing Grant and Bell’s works for viewing online.

Here’s the interns’ most recent post about two sketchbooks by Duncan Grant dated circa 1919 and 1923.

The Charleston Attic

Last week was #MuseumWeek 2016, and to celebrate, The Charleston Attic will once again be joining institutions all over the world by writing a blog post reflecting one of the themes trending on Twitter.

Thursday’s theme of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, shows the scope for discovery within the several thousand works on paper and canvas that make up the Angelica Garnett Gift.

Last week also marked our independence as the new Attic Interns as we continue with the task in hand: to photograph, catalogue and publish Grant and Bell’s works so that they may be viewed online. There is much excitement to be had in unearthing new items in the collection, and it seems like the perfect opportunity, in celebration of Charleston’s cultural heritage through the Gift, to talk about this week’s findings in relation to the theme.

We have been looking closely at two sketchbooks by…

View original post 698 more words

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The Charlotte Street Hotel in the Bloomsbury district of London evokes the Bloomsbury Group with its art, its feel and its look, according to this video in which Kit Kemp explains the concept behind the drawing room.

The video begins with a Virginia Woolf quote from “Street Haunting,” goes on to explain the importance of the Bloomsbury Group, and mentions the art — of the Bloomsbury and artists of today — that is displayed on the walls. Of particular note is the Roger Fry painting that takes pride of place in the hotel library.

Special thanks to Helen Harrison of Chicago for sending Blogging Woolf the link to this information.

 

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