Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

Doorway leading from Virginia Woolf’s bedroom to the back garden at Monk’s House. Woolf’s bedroom was part of a two-story extension the Woolfs added in 1930 and could only be accessed from the outside.

Hannah Minton, who describes herself as “a long-time admirer of the VW Blog [Blogging Woolf]” who loves “all the work that your group does to promote Woolf’s image” wrote us to share a photo of Virginia Woolf that she has colorized.

The photo, which comes from the Houghton Library at Harvard University, depicts Woolf at Monk’s House, circa 1933-1935, according to library records. It is one of many black and white images that Minton has colorized as part of her fledgling colorization business.

Minton describes the photo as being taken in Woolf’s “room at Monk’s House,” which I took her to mean it was taken in Woolf’s bedroom, a room that was part of a two-story extension the Woolfs added in 1930 and could only be accessed from the outside.

Virginia Woolf’s bedroom at Monk’s House, showing the fireplace with tiles decorated by her sister, Vanessa Bell.

Investigating location

However, when I took a close look, I did not recognize the fireplace tiles as being those in Woolf’s bedroom, as those tiles feature a lighthouse. (See photo at right.)

So I went to a booklet I picked up at Monk’s House in 2019. Published by the National Trust and titled Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House, it includes the black and white version of the photo Minton colorized and explains that it was taken “in one of the upstairs rooms at Monk’s House, date unknown” (30).

Below, thanks to Minton, we share both the original black and white version, as well as her subtly colorized version. See what you think.

Virginia Woolf seated reading a book at Monk’s House (Rodmell, England) : portrait print, circa 1933-1935., 1933-1935.. Virginia Woolf Monk’s House photographs, MS Thr 564, (60) RESTRICTED, Box: 2. Houghton Library.

Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House, colorized

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Need a photo of Virginia Woolf or another member of the Bloomsbury group? Good luck.

“Snapshots of Bloomsbury” by Maggie Humm

A lengthy recent discussion on the VWoolf Listserv involved the difficulty of finding and obtaining photographs of Virginia Woolf and the other members of the Bloomsbury group.

I collected some — but perhaps not all — of the links provided by list participants. I include those I harvested below, although some had already been posted on this site.

The discussion also included advice about how to obtain permission to use Virginia and Leonard’s literary work. You’ll find a link to the Society of Authors, from which you can request such permission, at the end of this post.

Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House Photographs

Location: Harvard Library
Dates: 1867-1967
Details: You can view the entire 182 pages of the photo albums, page by page. The digitized material available online includes all the images in Virginia Woolf’s photo albums, numbered one through six, that Frederick R. Koch gave to Harvard’s Houghton Library in 1983. They include the 1,000 photos in Maggie Humm’s 2006 book Snapshots of Bloomsbury: the Private Lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. For more details, read our Feb. 4, 2018, post on this topic: “View Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House Photos online.”

You can also click on individual Monk’s House Album links in the “Digital Archives” category in the right sidebar of this blog.

Leslie Stephen’s Photograph Album

Location: Smith College Libraries
Details: Leslie Stephen compiled a photograph album and wrote an epistolary memoir, known as the “Mausoleum Book,” to mourn the death of his wife, Julia, in 1895. Leslie Stephen’s photograph album is now part of the Elizabeth Power Richardson Bloomsbury Iconography Collection at Smith College. The album and the memoir, which Stephen created for his children and stepchildren, provide an exceptional example of late Victorian grief.

Tate Images for Vanessa Bell

Location: Tate
Details: 211 images, both paintings and photographs housed at the Tate, that come up when one conducts a search on Vanessa Bell’s name. They include images of Vanessa, along with those of other members of the Bloomsbury group.

Francis Partridge’s Photograph Albums

Location: Archive Center, King’s College, Cambridge
Dates: 1913-2004
Details:  Contains Frances Partridge’s photograph albums, as well as those bequeathed to her by Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington.

The Society of Authors

Need permission to reproduce the work of the Woolfs? The Society of Authors manages the literary estates of both Virginia and Leonard. For information on obtaining permission to reproduce the Woolfs’ work, visit the society’s website.

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