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Posts Tagged ‘Vanessa Bell’

Charleston AtticOh, the lovely connections we make in the world of Woolf. This time, the connection gives us all a behind-the-scenes look at Charleston, the Sussex site known as Bloomsbury in the country.

Alice Purkiss, a curatorial trainee at The Charleston Trust, contacted Blogging Woolf via a Facebook message last week to ask that we help publicize The Charleston Attic. The blog was created by Purkiss and fellow trainee Dorian Knight, who just left the project. His replacement at Charleston is Samantha Wilson.

CharlestonIn existence one year,The Charleston Attic shares the trainees’ research at the former home of Vanessa Bell and her family and includes discussions of Woolf and her works. According to the blog, it “is a record of our work cataloguing, researching and interpreting the Angelica Garnett Gift from the Charleston attic – overlooked by a bust of Virginia Woolf.”

Recent posts of particular interest to Woolfians include:

The curatorial trainee project with the Charleston Trust provides for six-month training periods for a dozen trainees over three years.

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Life-in-Squares-_3215726bLife in Squares, the BBC Two show that tells the story of the tangled relationships of the Bloomsbury Group from 1901 to 1945, will be on the air this year, shown as three 60-minute episodes.

The program was announced by the BBC last summer.

Filming also began last summer at Charleston Farmhouse, known as Bloomsbury in the country, for scenes set in the 1930s and 1940s. In the rooms where filming took place, much of the original collection was removed, and the art department improvised to make the place more bohemian than it may have been in real life. Domestic clutter that is part of the staging includes posed photographs of the actors based on old family photographs. Filming in London took place last fall.

Two actors play the role of each character in the show, which complicated the casting process. One bit of casting seems pitch-perfect: James Norton, the crime-solving vicar on Grantchester, will play Duncan Grant. Lydia Leonard  of Ambassadors will play a young Virginia Wolf and Phoebe Fox of Switch will star as a young Vanessa Bell.

Discussions with Vanessa’s granddaughter Virginia Nicholson were key in making the show a reality.

Life in Squares gets under the skin of the Bloomsbury group to lay bare the very human and emotional story of a group of people determined to find their own path in life,” said Lucy Bedford, executive producer.

“At heart, Life in Squares is about family: about the families we try to escape, the ones we end up creating and the different kinds of damage love can do,” she added.

 

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This month, the International Virginia Woolf Society shared a series of “interesting facts about Virginia Woolf on its Facebook page.

Vanessa Bell

The most recent, * Interesting fact no. 12, * told the story of how Woolf, 28, and her sister, Vanessa Bell, 30, “once appeared in public almost nude,” according to the judgment of some who saw them at a ball held in conjunction with Roger Fry’s 1910 exhibition of Post-Impressionist painters at the Grafton Galleries.

Inspired by the paintings, the two sisters browned their arms and legs, adorned themselves with flowers and beads, and appeared as bare-shouldered, bare-legged, ‘indecent’, figures from a Gauguin canvas.

It’s said that the two women recreated their Gauguin girl look for a later photo, which has not been located.

Visit the IVWS Facebook page for more interesting facts about Virginia, including the fact that Woolf’s Dreadnought Hoax escapade heads the list of “The Twelve Best Facts from a Year of Interesting Literature.”.

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In “Forgive me, Virginia Woolf,” Melissa Bellinelli shares the story of how she created a Charleston-styleScreen Shot 2013-11-08 at 1.02.24 PM dining room of her own in a sunny Long Island home.

Her inspiration came from taking a class on Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group at Oxford, along with her frequent visits to Charleston Farm.

She remembered the details — the black stenciled walls, the hand-painted round table and the chairs designed by Roger Fry — and decided to mimic them in the dining room addition she and her husband built. So she ordered the reproduction chairs and the Biblioteque wallpaper — and went on to create her fantasy room, in two different incarnations.

Here are some other Charleston links of interest:

The Bloomsbury Crowd Pinterest

Charleston slideshow

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Originally posted on SuchFriends Blog:

…The Omega Workshops open their doors. Using money inherited from a Quaker uncle, painter and critic Roger Fry, 46, along with his Bloomsbury painter friends, Vanessa Bell, 34, and Duncan Grant, 28, produce textiles, ceramics, home furnishings—a whole range of art and decoration, for sale at 33 Fitzroy Square.

A few doors down from the house Vanessa’s sister, Virginia Woolf, 31, had shared with their brother, it is also convenient walking distance from where Vanessa and her husband, art critic Clive, 31, live with their two children.

Planning the opening celebration, Vanessa writes to Roger:  “We should get all our disreputable and…aristocratic friends to come, and after dinner we should repair to Fitzroy Square where there should be decorated furniture, painted walls, etc. There we should all get drunk and dance and kiss, orders would flow in and the aristocrats would feel they were really in the thick of things.”…

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A CNBC story reports on a collection of Virginia Woolf’s letters and other items that is for sale en bloc for $4 million. The letters are beingCNBC letter sold by Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in Manhattan.

They include letters from Woolf to her nephew Julian Bell, as well as letters from Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Vita Sackville-West.

The most poignant, said Horowitz during the CNBC interview, is one written by Vita Sackville-West, describing Woolf’s suicide and the days leading up to the discovery of her body. “It’s really one of the most touching collections of letters I’ve had the privilege of handling,” Horowitz said.

The private collection was built over a period of 40 years by William B. Beekman, who started collecting Woolf items as a Harvard undergraduate before Quentin Bell’s 1972 biography brought her renewed interest from the academy, according to Horowitz’s site. Included in the collection are items that span Woolf’ life, such as photographs, letters, inscribed books and dust jackets.

Although the CNBC story put the value of the collection at $4 million, the Horowitz website prices it at $4.5 million. The collection was put on the market and exhibited in East Hampton last July.

In 2011, Horowitz published a digital catalog of Bloomsbury materials to its website. Virginia Woolf, The Hogarth Press, and The Bloomsbury Group contains more than 150 first editions, association copies, letters and more.

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 I finally read Pat Barker’s Toby’s Room. My library’s reservation system is fantastic but does require some patience! Paula first Toby's Roommentioned it here last summer, noting the allusions—in more than the title—to Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, as did Hermione Lee, who reviewed it for The Guardian.

I read Barker’s Life Class around that time before I knew it was the prequel to Toby’s Room, and I posted on the “near sightings,” the Bloomsbury references when the protagonist, Slade art student Elinor Brooke, has tea at Ottoline Morrell’s.

Elinor’s brother Toby, like Jacob before him, dies serving in World War I, and like Jacob is revealed mostly through family and friends. Toby’s Room is still Elinor’s story, in which she seeks to unearth the mysterious details of his death. Woolf appears in entries from Elinor’s diary. She records her impressions from a weekend at Charleston Farmhouse, presumably at the invitation of Vanessa Bell:

“VB was in the drawing room when I arrived, with her sister, Mrs. Woolf. I’ve met her more than once, though I don’t think she remembered me and gave me a lukewarm welcome. Doesn’t like young women, I suspect. I thought the talk would be well above my head, but they were quite relaxed and gossipy and we chatted on easily enough. Or they did. I was too nervous to say much. It was like listening to an old married couple. They’ve got that habit of completing each other’s sentences…”

The other guests are “the conscientiously objecting young men” working at the farm, none of whom, she realizes, are going to be interested in her. There’s talk of the war at dinner, and Woolf talks about “how women are outside the political process and therefore the war’s got nothing to do with them.”

Elinor is struck by Woolf’s observation but finds it less convincing when she later tries to echo the sentiment herself. Barker has no such problem making her case. In both novels, she challenges readers to explore the role of art and artists in time of war, heightening the drama with real, fictional and hybrid characters as she did in her Regeneration trilogy.

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