The Bloomsbury Group

National Portrait Gallery Insights

The Bloomsbury Group cover

Out of Print

National Portrait Gallery Insights
The Bloomsbury Group
Frances Spalding

'The most constructive and creative influence on English taste between the two wars,' The Bloomsbury Group was a union of friends who transformed British culture with their approach to art, design and society.

The Group began the twentieth century with a desire to challenge what they felt were the religious, artistic, social and sexual taboos of Victorian England. Together they created a revolution in British style that resonates with contemporary painters, writers, actors, designers, fashion editors and publishers.

This book explores the impact of Bloomsbury personalities on each other, as well as their legacy to the twenty-first century. Author Frances Spalding demonstrates how this network of artists, lovers and patrons recorded one another obsessively in both words and images. She presents over twenty fascinating biographies, all of which are illustrated with paintings and intimate photographs created by members of the Group. Highlighted in her revealing account are: Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Vanessa and Clive Bell, Duncan Grant, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Roger Fry, J.M. Keynes, Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington.

Frances Spalding is a leading authority on Bloomsbury. She has written biographies of Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, for ten years edited the Charleston Magazine and has lectured widely on aspects of Bloomsbury. Her most recent book was Gwen Raverat: Friends, Family and Affections (2001). She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and is currently Reader in Twentieth-Century British Art at the University of Newcastle.

A complementary display in the Bookshop Gallery at the National Portrait Gallery, focusing on Lady Ottoline Morrell's photo albums (acquired by the Gallery in 2003), accompanies the book. Members of the Bloomsbury group feature prominently in Lady Ottoline Morrell's twelve albums spanning from 1907 to 1937. Bloomsbury and Beyond: Ottoline Morrell Portraits and Snapshots runs from 31 May to 19 September 2005.

National Portrait Gallery Insights
New series

National Portrait Gallery Insights is a new series of illustrated books on literary and artistic personalities and themes, based on the collections of the National Portrait Gallery. Commissioned to demonstrate the significance of portraits when discussing history, art history and biography, each book has been beautifully designed by leading international design consultancy Pentagram Design and features over eighty exquisite stunning illustrations.

This innovative new series aims to explore the ways in which groups of people are drawn together - whether by birth, via education or through their artistic and intellectual vision - to make a powerful impact on cultural history. Written by well-known authors in their field, this exciting series provides a compelling way of exploring British history and biography.

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