During the summer and autumn of 2018 the first exhibition in Sweden was held of the radical and boundary breaking Bloomsbury Group.
The group was active in Great Britain during the beginning of the 20th century and included amongst others Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell and Roger Fry. The exhibition Bloomsbury Spirit was based on the group’s boldness, optimism and anti-authoritarian approach and inspires new ways of thinking. To showcase their inclusive modernism, the creative range of painting, photography, interior design, textiles, patterns, literature, furniture design, books, graphics, dance, garden art and fashion was represented.
The group consisted of a loose collection of authors, artists, politicians, economists, historians, critics and mathematicians. At first, they were just friends and students, but later on they broke through as their time’s new thinkers. The members loathed heroism and authority. For them, modernism meant that old and new could be put together in any conceivable patterns and combinations. They celebrated imagination, feeling and creation without rejecting reason.
The exhibition discussed the Bloomsbury group’s utopias, such as the overall conversation, Gesamtkunstwerk and nudity. An important venue that will be recreated is Charleston, Vanessa Bell’s summer house in Sussex, which became the hub of the entire Bloomsbury group. At Artipelag’s seaside entrance, before even entering the art gallery, visitors could walk through a Charleston-inspired garden that continued in the gallery, complete with ivy, roses and boxwood.
External curator for the exhibition was the art critic and author Ingela Lind in collaboration with Artipelag’s art department. For Bloomsbury Spirit, Artipelag was loaned unique works by, among others, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry from English institutions such as the TATE, Victoria & Albert Museum, Courtauld Gallery, The Charleston Trust and the National Portrait Gallery.
Exhibition Blog & Bloomsbury workshop
Read about everything that happened in the exhibition Bloomsbury Spirit on our exhibition blog.
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