The Omega Workshops were a design enterprise established by the painter and art critic Roger Fry in 1913. One hundred years after they closed their doors in the heart of bohemian London, this major exhibition will explore their radical approach to modern design and living at Charleston, where the Workshops’ ideals found their most convincing expression.
Many of the most avant-garde artists of the day were employed at the Omega Workshops, including: Paul Nash, Henri-Gaudier-Brzeska, Frederick and Jessie Etchells, Nina Hamnett and Henri Doucet. Inspired by the new, vital spirit of Post-Impressionism they created thrillingly bold, colourful and abstract items for the home that challenged the social sensibilities of Edwardian Britain.
Post-Impressionist Living: The Omega Workshops will trace the Omega Workshops’ philosophy and beginnings through to their pioneering experiments in interior design, with the largest display of Omega objects in more than 30 years. Drawing on loans from the V&A, The Courtauld Gallery, a number of private collectors and Charleston’s own collection, the exhibition will feature some of the finest examples of the Omega Workshops’ furniture, ceramics, printed fabrics and textiles, including many works on public display for the first time.
As the former home of the Omega Workshops’ co-directors, artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, Charleston is a fitting setting for the exhibition. The House’s playfully painted interiors, brightly decorated furniture and embroideries make it the living embodiment of a Post-Impressionist inspired home. When Bell and Grant moved to Charleston in October 1916 they brought an array of Omega objects with them, and the exhibition will also include the tableware the Bloomsbury group ate with and the chairs they sat on.
With generous loans from
Informal reading and discussion group, exploring Bloomsbury texts and themes. First Sunday of every month.
Melvyn Tan will perform alongside Joely Richardson and the Škampa Quartet
CRESSIDA BELL talks to her sister, Virginia Nicholson, about Charleston, her design work and curating ‘In Colour.’