The Bloomsbury Look

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[A] fascinating and wide-ranging account...This is a book that wears its scholarship lightly and will be enjoyed by both Bloomsbury aficionados and newcomers alike' - V&A Magazine

A well-illustrated book analysing the art and dress the Bloomsbury Group used to signify membership

The Bloomsbury Group was a loose collective of forward-thinking writers, artists, and intellectuals in London, with Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and E. M. Forster among its esteemed members. The group's works and radical beliefs, spanning literature, economics, politics, and non-normative relationships, changed the course of 20th-century culture and society. Although its members resisted definition, their art and dress imparted a coherent, distinctive group identity.

Drawing on unpublished photographs and extensive new research, The Bloomsbury Look is the first in-depth analysis of how the Bloomsbury Group generated and broadcast its self-fashioned aesthetic. One chapter is dedicated to photography, which was essential to the group's visual narrative-from casual snapshots, to amateur studio portraits, to family albums. Others examine the Omega Workshops as a design centre, and the evidence for its dress collections, spreading the Bloomsbury aesthetic to the general public.

Finally, the book considers the group's extensive participation in 20th-century modernism as artists, models, curators, critics, and collectors.

  • Author: Wendy Hitchmough
  • Paperwork: 184 pages | 160 colour and black and white illustrations
  • Date published: April 2024
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9780300277913
  • Product Dimensions: 27.8 x 21.3 cm

'[A]n in-depth look at the visual creations of the group of writers that included Virginia Woolf and EM Forster...features fascinating unpublished photographs' -The Independent

'[A] fascinating and wide-ranging account...This is a book that wears its scholarship lightly and will be enjoyed by both Bloomsbury aficionados and newcomers alike' - V&A Magazine

'[A] fascinating study [and] beautifully illustrated with images of paintings, decorative arts and clothing designs, plus a wealth of previously unpublished photographs, the book explores the distinctive aesthetic that defines this loose collective of artists, writers and intellectuals that revolved round Vanessa Bell and her sister, Virginia Woolf' - Country Life 

'The Bloomsbury Group — and in particular, the style of Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell — has been a constant source of inspiration for artists, fashion designers and interior decorators. This well-illustrated volume analyses the visual artefacts — garments and hair styles, art and furniture — the group used to signal membership.' - FT

'the first book to thoroughly unpack the group’s visual aesthetic, from painted portraits of John Maynard Keynes to photographs Leonard Woolf took of his wife, Virginia, to fashion designs and handwritten correspondences' - New York Times

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