Bloomsbury group


An informal association in London, 1906-1918, of artists, writers and critics, it is credited with introducing modern art and literature to Britain. The name is from Bloomsbury, the northwest section of London where leaders Virginia Stephen Woolf and Vanessa Stephen Bell lived. The group began with male friendships of writer-students at Cambridge University and continued with intertwined friendships and romances. Critic and curator Roger Fry, who converted to modern art in 1906 when he was exposed to the work of Paul Cezanne, was the most prominent figure of the Bloomsbury Group. He organized a Post-Impressionist art exhibition at Grafton Galleries in London in 1912, and entered his own work plus that of Clive Bell, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. In their artwork, the focus was on vivid Fauve colors, simplified forms and fragmentation as influenced by Cubism. In 1913, the Bloomsbury Group applied their aesthetic to functional, handmade items such as rugs and tableware and, with the financial help of writer George Bernard Shaw, oversaw the making of those types of items through an entity they named Omega Workshops. Described as a "curious amalgam of the idealistic socialism of the Arts and Crafts Movement" and chic "Aestheticism, this arts and crafts endeavor flourished for a few years but folded in 1919 with the pressures of World War I and the unwillingness of people to spend money on non-essentials. Source: Robert Atkins, "Artspoke"