Correspondence and other papers relating to Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, Duncan Grant and others

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection includes nearly 2,500 pieces of correspondence between Clive Bell (1881-1964), Vanessa Bell (1879 -1961) and Duncan Grant (1885-1978), over a period of some 55 years. As the key figures in the Bloomsbury Group, these four people constitute a group of central importance in the development of twentieth centurty British Art and taste. Their correspondence traces in detail the development of their own work and their response to the art of others, as well as to other forms of art. The documentation ranges from the minutiae of domestic arrangements and studio practice, to the emergence of widely influential artistic theories. In addition, there are letters from Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, Janie Bussy, Dora Carrington, Augustus John, William Rothenstein, Walter Sickert and Matthew Smith, as well as correspondence between Vanessa Bell and her art school friend, Margery Snowden. The collection of correspondence is supplemented by a small number of writings by Clive Bell and Roger Fry, and a memoir by Duncan Grant about his life in Paris as an art student in 1907. It also contains some photographs and press-cuttings

Administrative / Biographical History

The Bloomsbury Group, was a circle of writers and artists meeting at Vanessa Bell's London home during the early years of the Twentieth Century. The painters and Art critics in the group (Clive Bell, Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant) came to public attention and were responsible for introducing Post-Impressionism to London in two exhibitions, held in 1910 and 1912, both of which were organized by Roger Fry. As well as solo painting, the artists participated in collaborative schemes of design for theatre sets, murals and the decoration of private homes. They were also instrumental in setting up the Omega Workshops, which brought together a number of the artists of the avant-garde and had a great impact on applied design in England beween the wars.

Arrangement

The papers are arranged as follows: 8010/1 Letters to Angelica Bell, 8010/2 Letters to Clive Bell, 8010/3 Letters to Julian Bell, 8010/4 Letters to Quentin Bell, 8010/5 Letters to Vanessa Bell, 8010/6 Letters to Janie Bussy from Vanessa Bell, 8010/7 Letters from Roger Fry to Joesette Coatmellec, 8010/8 Letters and other material relating to Roger Fry, 8010/9 Letters to Duncan Grant, 8010/10 Letters to Desmond McCarthy from Clive Bell, 8010/11 Letters to Margery Snowden from Vanessa Bell, 8010/12 Postcards and Press cuttings.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Access to all registered users.

Other Finding Aids

Detailed paper list is available

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