The Omega Workshops, conceived by the artist and critic Roger Fry, was not only patronized by Bloomsbury, but also gave graphic expression to some essence of the Bloomsbury ethos. In addition to its emphasis on the decorative arts as seen in the work of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and the ceramics of Roger Fry, the Omega Workshops experimented with book production. The Collection at Victoria contains all the Omega publications, including the first title Simpson's Choice (1915) by Arthur Clutton-Brock with woodcuts by Roald Kristian, and Original Woodcuts by Various Artists which includes woodcuts by a gallery of Bloomsbury artists: Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, Roald Kristian, Edward Wolfe, McKnight Kauffer and Simon Bussy, whose woodcut of the famous Omega cat is a familiar image. The influence and importance of Bloomsbury art and artists can be traced in the Collection and Bloomsbury: Books, Art and Design brings together selected examples of the literary and visual creativity which characterized Bloomsbury, their ideas and their achievements.
Painted by Duncan Grant and hung above
the front door of 33 Fitzroy Square
(Naylor. Gillian. Bloomsbury: the Artists, Authors and Designers by Themselves.
Great Britain: Octopus, 1990,
|Omega Workshops Letterhead|
|Omega Workshops Poster|
Nina Hamnett, ca. 1917. Portrait by Roger Fry
The portrait shows Nina Hamnett in a
dress designed by Vanessa Bell and made at the Omega. The shoes were also
possibly an Omega purchase. She sits on the arm of an embroidered armchair,
beside a cushion covered with 'Maud' linen .
|Winifred Gill (left) and Nina Hamnett modelling dresses at
the Omega. |
Omega fabrics hang on the wall behind the screen.
(Anscombe, Isabelle. Omega and After: Bloomsbury and the Decorative Arts. London: Thames and Hudson, 1981. p. 85)
|The Omega Sitting Room at the Ideal
Home Exhibition, 1913. |
Embroidered chair by Roger Fry, rugs by Duncan Grant and (possibly) Etchells.
|Fish Rug by Duncan Grant, ca. 1920|
Duncan Grant's earlier carpet designs were done for the Omega Workshops. During the first half of this century, Duncan Grant became well known as an interior decorator, producing designs for every aspect of surface decoration. This Fish Rug was designed by Duncan Grant in the early 1920's and is woven as a course Kelim, a traditional technique used in the Middle East and Africa.