The studio at Charleston
After all these years the Bloomsbury Group continues to inspire. Charleston, the country retreat of its members, was a hive of writing and art. The artists who lived there painted and decorated every surface of the house -- the walls, cupboards, doors and mantelpieces -- and created a magical place. Its beauty inside and out, as well as the artists and writers who lived there, have been a source of inspiration to so many. Here are a few exciting Bloomsbury-related arts events that are happening right now!
"The Other Room" by Vanessa Bell
The Dulwich Picture Gallery in London will be hosting a Vanessa Bell art exhibition, her first major solo show. Most people know Vanessa as the sister of Virginia Woolf, the husband of Clive Bell, the lover of Duncan Grant and the doyenne of the Bloomsbury set. But many people don't realize what an accomplished artist she was. The curators of the exhibition at Dulwich are making it very clear that she was a talented artist who deserves a show of her own. Oh, how I would love to be in London for this one!
Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, the subjects of a new film based on Eileen Atkins' play Vita and Virginia
Eileen Atkins' play Vita and Virginia about the friendship and affair between the writers Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West is finally going to be made into a film. The relationship between the two literary luminaries began in 1922 and lasted around a decade. They remained friends until Woolf's death in 1941. Woolf dedicated her novel Orlando to Vita, a book that has been called "the longest and most charming love letter in literature."
A fan designed by Duncan Grant
David Herbert has curated a fascinating exhibition A Room of Their Own: Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30 at the Victoria Gallery in Bath, England. It brings together rarely seen pieces of fine and decorative art to recreate the essence of lost Bloomsbury spaces. So many of these rooms no longer exist, but fragments still remain. Charleston is the only significant example of a Bloomsbury home to survive. After years of searching for furniture, ceramics, fabric, sculpture and paintings, he has reassembled many Bloomsbury interiors. He has collected pieces by Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant to create an intimate look at the domestic lives of these artists.
David Herbert's Bloomsbury Ceramics
David Herbert has also created a line of Bloomsbury-themed ceramics decorated with foliage and flowers inspired by Duncan Grant's and Vanessa Bell's own designs. Go here to view. I can't wait to order some of these!
And one more thing -- a restaurant! The Dalloway Terrace, named after Virginia Woolf's famous book, has opened in the heart of Bloomsbury. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu for its afternoon tea was inspired by the Bloomsbury group. This restaurant looks lovely and I have read only good reviews!