The Bloomsbury Look
Yale University Press, 2020
The Bloomsbury Group was a loose collective of forward-thinking writers, artists, and intellectuals in London, with Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and E. M. Forster among its esteemed members. The group’s works and radical beliefs, spanning literature, economics, politics, and non-normative relationships, changed the course of 20th-century culture and society. Although its members resisted definition, their art and dress imparted a coherent, distinctive group identity.
Drawing on unpublished photographs and extensive new research, The Bloomsbury Look is the first in-depth analysis of how the Bloomsbury Group generated and broadcast its self-fashioned aesthetic. One chapter is dedicated to photography, which was essential to the group’s visual narrative—from casual snapshots, to amateur studio portraits, to family albums. Others examine the Omega Workshops as a design center, and the evidence for its dress collections, spreading the Bloomsbury aesthetic to the general public. Finally, the book considers the group’s extensive participation in 20th-century modernism as artists, models, curators, critics, and collectors.