Although of another place and time, the Bloomsbury group confronted issues that are remarkably current: international crises, war, the value of craft in an industrialized world, women's rights, environmental protection, and the search for the true, the good, and the beautiful in their art and their lives. A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections examines the group's responses to these issues, providing a valuable mirror on how people can address similar concerns today. A hundred years after the Bloomsbury group was established, their story still resonates and brings together a variety of interests across many artistic and intellectual pursuits.
This catalog, the companion catalog to an acclaimed exhibition organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in 2008, is illustrated with full-color plates of the two hundred exhibited works, as well as numerous color figures of comparative works and documentary photographs. It also features essays by several leading Bloomsbury scholars. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, author of a major 1995 Carrington biography, provides a personal overview of artistic Bloomsbury. Nancy E. Green, the Johnson Museum curator and organizer of the exhibition, explores the Victorian-era influence on sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. Mark Hussey's essay discusses the cultural differences behind how British and American audiences experience Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group. Benjamin Harvey offers "An Appreciation of Bloomsbury's Books and Blocks." Christopher Reed presents personal stories behind many of the prominent Bloomsbury collectors in North America.
Nancy E. Green is The Gale and Ira Drukier Curator of European and American Art, Prints & Drawings, 1800-1945 at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, where she has curated many exhibitions and written extensively on nineteenth- and twentieth-century fine and decorative art. She is the coauthor of Arthur Wesley Dow and American Arts and Crafts.