"The Art of Bloomsbury"

By Rosenblum, Robert | Artforum International, September 1999 | Go to article overview

"The Art of Bloomsbury"


Rosenblum, Robert, Artforum International


TATE GALLERY

With a glamorous cast that includes Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster, and Virginia Woolf and its spicy scenarios of sexual liberation, "Bloomsbury" has become by now a synonym for privileged British bohemianism. But if the arty milieu has been resurrected by the likes of Ken Russell and Merchant-Ivory, the actual work of Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, and Roger Fry (who coined the term Post-Impressionism in 1910 for the pivotal exhibition he hoped would plant the Parisian seeds of modern art's mystery in alien London soil) is seldom seen. "The Art of Bloomsbury," an exhibition curated by Richard Shone, will fill this visual void, showing us how the religion of "significant form" (the antidote to Victorian narrative realism) spread beyond the easel via the handicrafted domestic objects of the Omega Workshops. From painted lampstands, cabinets, and screens to needlepoint upholstery, carpets, and dresses, a Brave New World of distilled beauty was to replace the philistine taste for gaudy, manufactured goods.

How will all of this hold up? The specter of thin-blooded amateurism - what Clive Bell referred to as "the genteel servitude which passes under the name of British civilization" - has always haunted the artsy-craftsy reputation of Bloomsbury. Are Omega's products a serious link between William Morris and the Bauhaus, or were they mainly dilettantish decor? And if both Vanessa Bell and Grant have claims to precocious positions in the international history of abstract art, with Grant even making a kinetic-synesthetic collage that was to be rolled past the viewer to the tune of Bach, do their patchwork-quilt patterns have more to do with marquetry than high modernism?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"The Art of Bloomsbury"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.