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Posts Tagged ‘Vanessa Bell’

Interns at Charleston blog regularly. Here is their latest post, discussing their discovery of several items in the archives that indicate an interest on the part of Bloomsbury in Matisse and his career.

In August, the curatorial team began cataloguing the larger works on paper and canvas of the Angelica Garnett Gift. The discovery of a dynamic pencil drawing depicting four frantically moving figur…

Source: Duncan Grant and Henri Matisse | The Charleston Attic

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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.

1927 cover

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

 

 

 

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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
 

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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.

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.

 

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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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Vanessa Bell née Stephen was born on this day in 1879. A key member in the creation of the Bloomsbury aesthetic, Vanessa was a prolific worker and over the course of her life produced vast quantiti…

Source: On Vanessa Bell’s Birthday: 30th May 1879

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