HERE is a first look at a major new exhibition which opened in York yesterday (Friday March 4) – featuring a group of writers, artists and thinkers who have had a profound effect on art and British literature.
Beyond Bloomsbury: Life, Love & Legacy at the York Art Gallery explores the lives and works of members of the Bloomsbury Group, who met over 30 years in the first half of the 20th century.
Key figures included writer Virginia Woolf and her artist sister Vanessa Bell, their brother Thoby Stephen, Clive Bell, Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey and Saxon Sydney-Turner.
EM Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry were also prominent members.
The exhibition, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and Sheffield Museums, opened yesterday and will run until Sunday June 5.
The exhibitions feature over 60 major loans of oil paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs by Bell and his contemporaries.
The exhibition also features new works by artist Sahara Longe, specially commissioned by York Museums Trust and Sheffield Museums.
Visitors can also see the exclusive premiere of Bloomsbury-inspired murals designed by graphic designer Lydia Caprani who has also worked with the York LGBT Forum and Kyra Women’s Group to create decorative pieces for the exhibition.
The Bloomsbury Group is credited with helping bring about monumental changes in the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Writer Dorothy Parker remarked that the Bloomsbury group “lived in squares, painted in circles, and loved in triangles”.
The works on display at York Art Gallery will examine the close circle of friends, their ideas, their creative endeavors and celebrate the group’s LGBTQ+ relationships.
Becky Gee, Curator of Fine Arts at York Museums Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to tell the stories not only of the artists, but also of the writers, dancers, activists and philanthropists who were linked to the Bloomsbury Group.
“We are also delighted to be working with painter Sahara Longe who has produced four new portraits which will go perfectly with those in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.”
The first part of the exhibition presents the personalities associated with the Bloomsbury group.
The second part focuses on the Omega workshops, a company created by Roger Fry in 1913 which sold furniture, fabrics and household items designed by the greatest artists of the time.
The final section focuses on activism and philanthropy, identifying causes of particular importance to individual members of the Bloomsbury Group.
The Bloomsbury Group participated in the creation of the Contemporary Art Society.
Tickets cost £10 per adult, concessions are available.