Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf portrait’

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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In the closing lines of Mrs. Dalloway (1925), Virginia Woolf wrote these lines for Peter Walsh: “It is Clarissa, he said. For there she was.”Virginia Woolf in words

A variation on that theme popped into my head last Saturday when I attended a party at Pure Intentions, an organic wheat grass grower in Akron, Ohio. As I opened the door into the building, the first thing I saw was Woolf.

“Oh, it’s Virginia,” I said aloud, for on the wall facing the doorway was a large, unique and haunting portrait of Woolf with eyes that followed me wherever I went.

What made the heavy framed portrait even more mesmerizing was the fact that her features, facial contours, hair and clothing were all formed from the text of A Room of One’s Own (1929).

The portrait’s appropriate title, A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, suggested so many weighty layers of meaning that my own head felt filled with a tumbling jumble of words and their various meanings.

Kathy Evans, owner and operator of the wheat grass business and its School of Energy, said someone gave her the portrait. She explained that she hung it above an overstuffed chair so that Woolf could look down on the intelligent folks who settled in for a good read.

I wished I had asked more questions about the Woolf portrait, but I thought I would be able to Google it and find one for myself. So far, no luck.

Perhaps I will have to go back to Pure Intentions for another look and more questions. For I just can’t get the Woolf face made of words out of my head.

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Virginia Woolf hairdo

Screenshot of The Daily Mail image comparison

Virginia Woolf has inspired many things — from fashion to multiple “rooms of one’s own.” But now she has inspired a hairdo. Or so muses The Daily Mail.

The paper reports that hairstylist Anthony Turner was likely inspired by Woolf’s famous 1902 portrait by George Charles Beresford now housed in the National Portrait Gallery when he created a center-parted hairdo for a model at Erdem’s recent show. The hairdo swooped over her ears, ending in a low knot, with “whimsical flyaways” around the face.

The Woolf hairdo tidbit is the lead item in a July 5 column of beauty tips that are nothing more than shameless sales pitches.

Virginia Woolf: Art, life and vision is at the National Portrait Gallery from July 10 to October 26.


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© National Portrait Gallery, London

Virginia Woolf will be among 61 writers whose portraits will be part of a National Portrait Gallery exhibit that will tour England, beginning this spring.

The exhibit, called “Writers of Influence: Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling,” will open in Sheffield in April, and will travel to Southampton, Plymouth and Sunderland.

From what I can tell, Woolf’s portrait is one painted by her sister, Vanessa Bell, in 1912.

The exhibition will make the following stops:

  • Museums Sheffield: Graves Gallery from April 17, a move that is generating controversy because it comes right after officials voted to shut down a city library
  • Southampton City Art Gallery from July 23
  • Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery from Oct. 16
  • Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens from Jan. 29, 2011.

Other writers whose portraits are included in the exhibit include William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, George Orwell, Enid Blyton, Lewis Carroll, Agatha Christie, John Lennon, JK Rowling, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, punk pioneer Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, Morrissey, Winehouse and recent Brit Award winner Dizzee Rascal.

As a side note, Woolf’s photographic portrait by George Charles Beresford is among the top 20 best selling post cards sold at the National Portrait Gallery.

Read more about the exhibit.

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