The Bloomsbury Look

Wendy Hitchmough


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Yale University Press
2 April 2024
ISBN: 9780300277913
184 pages

From the publisher

A landmark study of how the famed Bloomsbury Group developed their distinct aesthetic
“Fascinating and wide-ranging. . . . Will be enjoyed by both Bloomsbury aficionados and newcomers alike.”—Lucinda Willan, V&A Magazine
The Bloomsbury Group was one of the most successful and influential interdisciplinary collectives of the twentieth century. While its members resisted definition, their vibrant art and dress imparted a coherent, distinctive group identity. The Bloomsbury Look is an intimate and novel exploration of the ways in which the Group enabled its members to test and explore radical ideas and identities in public and in private, placing Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf centre-stage as curators of the collective’s visual narratives.
Drawing on a wealth of unpublished photographs and archival material, Wendy Hitchmough examines the use of the family album as a vehicle for the Group’s self-fashioned aesthetic. Extensive new research charts the evolution of Omega dress and considers Bloomsbury’s engagement with exhibitions as artists, models, curators, critics, and collectors to determine its pivotal role within twentieth-century modernism.