28 March 2008

Bloomsbury Rooms - book review

This is a beautifully illustrated book which explores the relationship between Bloomsbury notions of aesthetics and the actual interior designs of the homes in which its members lived. Christopher Reed takes their various houses as starting points - 46 Gordon Square, Asheham, Brunswick Square, Charleston, 52 Tavistock Square - for meditations on their socio-psychological development and the notions of art practised by Vanessa Bell, Walter Sickert, Roger Fry, and Duncan Grant. It should be said from the outset that although this has the size and has the high production values of a coffee table book, it is not a casual or an easy read. Christopher Reed situates Bloomsbury within theoretical concepts of art that were competing with each other in the early phase of European modernism in a serious and heavyweight fashion. And these theories themselves are analysed in a political and ideological manner. In fact his study is not only about Bloomsbury's domestic interiors... Read more >>


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