Archive for December, 2009

If you live in the Midwest, as I do, January might be the time to take a trip to the Chicago area. Why? The Bloomsburries are coming.

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University will host the exhibition A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections.

The exhibit, which focuses on the work of Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant and Dora Carrington, will be on display at the Evanston, Ill., museum’s main and Alsdorf galleries from Jan. 15 to March 14. Admission is free and open to the public.

Get the details about the exhibition. View digital images of works from the exhibition online.

The museum and other Northwestern entitities have also scheduled a variety of related events and programs, many of which are free. They include:

  • Docent-led tours of the exhibition at 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Jan. 16 to March 14.
  • A four-part Saturday matinee series at Block Cinema that begins at 2 p.m. Jan. 16 and runs through Feb. 20. Two of the four films are free. Admission for the other two is $6 for the general public and $4 for Northwestern faculty, staff and students.
  • A three-part Bloomsbury lecture series starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, that includes discussions of Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and John Maynard Keynes.
  • A 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, performance of Eileen Atkin’s play “Vita & Virginia,” which is adapted from correspondence between Woolf and Vita Sackville-West.
  • The Arts of Crafts” hands-on workshop at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, for families with children ages 6 to 10.
  • A 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, book club discussion on Woolf’s classic feminist polemic, A Room of One’s Own.
  • A day-long academic symposium, “New Looks: The Social Life of Art and Design in Bloomsbury,” scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27. It will present fresh and diverse scholarship on Bloomsbury art and design, covering topics ranging from the decorative arts, fashion and social dancing to literary responses to architecture and painting, according to the museum Web site.
  • A companion exhibition, “Only Connect — Bloomsbury Family and Friends,” will run from Jan. 14 to April 30 at Northwestern University Library of Special Collections, 1970 Campus Dr. It will explore the Bloomsbury group as a network of friends and families.
  • The Alumnae of Northwestern University will present a 10-week continuing education course, “The Bloomsbury Era Revisited,” Jan. 7 to March 11.  The non-credit afternoon course is open to the public. It will be taught by Northwestern faculty at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Dr. More information is available online.
  • A 6 p.m. Thursday, March 11, gallery talk on the exhibition by Block Museum curator Corinne Granof.

If you want to bone up on the main figures of the Bloomsbury group, you can read “Ten Characters In Search of a Group: A Sketch of Bloomsbury,” written by One-Soon Her, here.

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Sarah, Emily, Frances and Claire are four readers who have come up with a novel idea this winter.

No pun intended. Really.

The four bloggers have extended an open invitation to join them in a wintertime group read and online discussion of four Virginia Woolf novels in two months.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Jan. 15: Conversation about Mrs. Dalloway, led by Sarah.
  • Jan. 29: Conversation about  To the Lighthouse, led by Emily.
  • Feb. 12: Conversation about Orlando, led by Frances. 
  • Feb. 26: Conversation about The Waves, led by Claire.

Dozens of bloggers have already signed on to participate in the conversation. You can, too. Just subscribe to the comment feed for the original invitation post: “Woolf in Winter: An Invitation.”

Read more about the plan on the Nonsuch Book blog under the heading “Woolf in Winter: The Conversation Starts Soon.”

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Hannah Teare is a London-based fashion stylist whose credits include Virginia Woolf.

Yes, the fashion editor for the society magazine Tatler was the stylist for a series of five fashion shots named after Woolf. I’m not sure why they bear Woolf’s name, but I’ll try to come up with some connections.

In four of the five, the model is posed outdoors in country settings. Could be Sussex. In the fifth, she curls up in a narrow bed. Could be Clarissa Dalloway’s — or Woolf’s own at Monk’s House.

In each photo, the dark-haired model is dressed in fashions that range in color from deep purple to periwinkle blue, but in my opinion, only one of the outfits seems a likely bet for Virginia.

My choice features a long embroidered jacket that looks like something Vita may have brought back from Turkey, a mid-calf-length skirt with what might be a bit of slip peeking beneath the hem and sensible shoes that seem capable of tramping about the South Downs.

The photos, taken by Hyung-Won Ryoo, were published in Tatler.

You will find more about Woolf and fashion here.

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Two of Virginia Woolf’s novels helped inspire a new dance that premiered late last month in Bangkok.

Contemporary dancer Setsuko Yamada, one of the leading figures in dance in Japan, premiered the solo dance piece “Wearing Rose Pink” at the Patravadi Theatre on Nov. 27 and 28.

It was described as a “dance on the poignancy and elegance of life” and compared to “a dainty piece of china.”

While Woolf conveys the inner consciousness of her characters through words, Yamada is known for her ability to  “transform her inner consciousness and memory into movements.”

She said the dance was inspired by Woolf’s novels To the Lighthouse and The Waves and Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World.”

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A Christmas card designed by Bloomsbury artist Duncan Grant is the earliest one on display in a show of artists’ Christmas cards at Tate Britain through Feb. 1.

Grant’s signed card dates from 1913 and features a “stripey” pattern said to be borrowed from Matisse. But I found the flip side of the card reminiscent of Edvard Munch as well. You can view side one and side two of the card on the Tate’s Web site.

The Art Journal of the Taipei Times has an amusing overview of the Tate Christmas card show that includes images of clever cards from years past. You can also read the same piece, complete with links to additional sources, here.

If you have time, consider taking the Tate’s Bloomsbury Archive Journey offered online. It includes written correspondence among Bloomsbury artists and an audio interview with Grant, friend of Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes. Not knowing that this audio clip existed, listening to it took my breath away.

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