Anne Olivier Bell: 1916 – 2018

It is with great sadness that Charleston has learned of the death of Anne Olivier Bell.

Not only was Anne [known to close friends as Olivier] Charleston’s President, she helped found The Charleston Trust in the 1980s and was an acknowledged expert on Bloomsbury and on Charleston’s original collection and interiors.

Anne Olivier Bell
Ph: Axel Hesslenberg

Anne Olivier Bell trained as an art historian  at the Courtauld in the 1930s. She worked at the end of the war as part of a special international unit to repatriate works of art displaced by war. She first came to know Charleston in 1950 and in 1952 married Vanessa and Clive Bell’s son, Quentin. Then had three children and continued to visit Charleston regularly. She received honorary doctorates from Sussex and York Universities for her work editing the five volumes of Virginia Woolf’s diaries. In 2014 Anne Olivier Bell was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the arts and literature.

Her incredible contributions to Charleston and to the study of Bloomsbury remain a glorious memorial to her.

Further reading:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2018/07/19/anne-olivier-bell-art-historian-obituary/

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jul/19/anne-olivier-bell-obituary

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/obituary-anne-olivier-bell-dpp2z5mrq [Paywall]

What's on

13 JanCourse
Life Writing at Charleston (Inter.)

Intermediate Level course. Develop your writing practice, learn new approaches, and expand your critical knowledge.

23 MarWorkshop
Portrait painting with Charlie Schaffer

An intensive 4-day course in portraiture with BP Portrait Award 2019 winner Charlie Schaffer.

27 AprWorkshop
Block printing with Molly Mahon

Learn the art of block printing with Molly Mahon.

04 MayWorkshop
Painting in the Garden | Spring

A day long workshop in the beautiful springtime garden with artist Julian Le Bas.


Get involved