Bloomsbury was, of course, more than a literary movement: the visual arts were an integral part of the lives of many of the Bloomsbury Group. The Collection at Victoria University Library is rich in the resources for the study of "literary" Bloomsbury, but it also provides the breadth and depth of material for the study of Bloomsbury artists.

Click on any of the thumbnails to view the image in a larger size.

The Memoir Club, ca. 1943.
Painting by Vanessa Bell
(Rosenbaum, S.P. The Bloomsbury Group. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975, cover.)

In The Memoir Club, portraits by Duncan Grant of Woolf and Strachey and one of Fry by Vanessa herself hang on the wall above an unposed, seated group consisting of Duncan Grant, Leonard Woolf, Vanessa and Clive Bell, David Garnett, Maynard and Lydia Keynes, Desmond and Mollie MacCarthy, Quentin Bell and E.M. Forster. Some sit with their backs toward the viewer, some look down, some away. Although the individuals are recognizable, they also blend into a roughly circular group. The Memoir Club is Vanessa Bell's grand historical picture. Her friends merge in space although the portraits of the dead evoke a temporal dimension.

Dora Carrington.
Pencil sketch by Henry Lamb.
(Hill, Jane. The Art of Dora Carrington.
London: Herbert Press, 1994, p. 131)

Dora Carrington
Self Portrait

To Julia Strachey
Thursday [August 1927] H.S.H. Owlscliffe, Wiltshire
Darling, I fairly exploded with laughter over your letter this morning in bed much to the surprise of little Tiberius who was about to eat my bread and butter ...
(Carrington, Dora. Carrington: Letters and extracts from her diaries. Edited by David Garnett. Oxford University Press, 1979, p. 370.)

Roger Fry, 1912.
Painting by Vanessa Bell.
(The Omega Workshop: Alliance and Enmity in English Art 1911-1920.
London: Anthony d'Offay Gallery, 1984, p.2.)

Duncan Grant: Painting in a Mirror.
Painting by Vanessa Bell.
(Shone, Richard. Bloomsbury Portraits.
London: Phaidon Press, 1993, p. 150.)

Leonard Woolf, ca 1940.
Pencil sketch by Vanessa Bell.
(Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.
Ferrara: Palazzo Massari, 1996, p. 95)

What came to be called "Bloomsbury" by the outside world never existed in the form given to it by the outside world. For "Bloomsbury" was, and is currently used as a term - usually of abuse - applied to a largely imaginary group of persons with largely imaginary object and characteristics ... (Leonard Woolf. Bloomsbury, p.23)

Vanessa Bell, ca 1918.
Painting by Duncan Grant.
(Naylor, Gillian. Bloomsbury: the Artists, Authors, and Designers by Themselves.
Great Britain: Octopus, 1990, p. 171.)

Virginia Woolf at Asheham, ca 1910.
Painting by Vanessa Bell.
(Naylor, Gillian. Bloomsbury: the Artists, Authors, and Designers by Themselves.
Great Britain: Octopus, 1990, p. 83.)

Vanessa Bell | Duncan Grant | Dora Carrington | Roger Fry | Quentin Bell | Stephen Tomlin

Portraits | Omega Workshops | Dust Jackets designed by Vanessa Bell
Hogarth Press Illustrated Dust Jackets | Hogarth Press Handprinted Books