A comprehensive exhibition of art made in the British avant-garde community known as the Bloomsbury Group will open Dec. 18 at Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art before traveling around the country.
"A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections" is part of a year-long series of events at Duke celebrating the contributions of this group of artists, writers and intellectuals that included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes and Lytton Strachey.
The Bloomsbury exhibition was organized to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the group's beginnings. It will examine the American reception of the art produced between 1910 and the 1970s by the Bloomsbury artists and their associates and collaborators, including painters Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, Dora Carrington and Roger Fry.
"This exhibition is exciting for those of us who know of Bloomsbury through the writings of Woolf and Forster, or even through popular movies such as ‘The Hours,' ‘Howards' End' and ‘A Room With a View,'" said Kimerly Rorschach, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. "The art of Bloomsbury can teach us more about the group that was so brilliant and whose ideas are relevant today. We are excited about this unique opportunity to present this work to audiences in Durham and the Triangle."
The Nasher exhibition, which runs through April 5, will include 200 paintings, works on paper, decorative arts and book arts borrowed from public and private collections throughout the United States and Canada. It also will focus on how this small group of artists made its imprint on the cultural thinking of their day.
Complementing "A Room of Their Own" is a panel discussion Jan. 29 at the Nasher led by exhibition curator Nancy Green, the Gale and Ira Drukier Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. Other events include two lectures at the Durham County Library, a Bloomsbury film series, a family day event, teacher workshops and a theater production of the play, "Vita and Virginia."
The exhibition was inspired by, and draws from, the collection of Craufurd Goodwin, James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke, as well as other collections in the United States and Canada. It is organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, in Ithaca, N.Y., in conjunction with the Nasher Museum.
To complement the exhibition, Duke has organized a campuswide program, "Vision and Design: A Year of Bloomsbury," that includes panel discussions, theatrical performances, a film series, an online book chat, a "Duke in Depth" symposium and a related exhibition at Duke Library's Perkins Gallery. These events all take place between September 2008 and April 2009.
After premiering at the Nasher Museum, the exhibit visits the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell. It also will travel to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.; the Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Mass.; the Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, Calif.; and the Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
"A Room of Their Own" is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, promoting excellence in the humanities. At the Nasher Museum, the exhibition and related programs are sponsored by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Provost's Common Fund, Duke's Graduate Liberal Studies Program, the Wachovia Foundation and the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation. _ _ _ _
The Nasher Museum of Art is located at 2001 Campus Drive at Anderson Street on the Duke campus in Durham. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays. Suggested admission is $5 adults, $4 for seniors and members of the Duke Alumni Association, $3 for non-Duke students with identification and free for children 16 and younger. Admission is free to Duke students, faculty and staff with Duke Cards. Admission is also free to Nasher Museum members and Durham city residents who present a valid identification with proof of residency.