Graphical version

Tate Britain

Manuscripts and typescripts by Vanessa Bell and correspondence to and from Duncan Grant


Reference code(s): GB-70-tga-20096

Held at: Tate Britain

Title: Manuscripts and typescripts by Vanessa Bell and correspondence to and from Duncan Grant

Date(s): [1928]-2005

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 1 box

Name of creator(s): Bell [née Stephen] | Vanessa | 1879–1961 | painter


Administrative/Biographical history:

Vanessa Bell was born in 1879, daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen and sister of Virginia Woolf. She studied art under Sir Arthur Cope and at the Royal Academy Schools under John Singer Sargent. In 1907 she married Clive Bell and worked mainly in London, Sussex and France. Vanessa Bell exhibited first at the New Gallery in 1905, and at the New English Art Club, the Allied Artists Association and at numerous London galleries. She became a member of the London Group in 1919 and her work was exhibited at the second Post-Impressionist Exhibition in 1912. A central figure in the Bloomsbury Group, she founded the Friday Club in 1905, and was influenced by Roger Fry and by Duncan Grant. As co-director of the Omega Workshops she carried out many decorative projects, particularly with Grant. The impact of Post-Impressionism caused a radical change in her work. Influenced by Matisse she established a leading role as a colourist before 1920. Between 1914-15 she produced some pure abstracts but later returned to a more traditional naturalism and greater realism in works that centred around her friends, still-life and landscapes. Vanessa Bell died in 1961.


Scope and content/abstract:

This collection comprises writings by Vanessa Bell, including manuscripts written for the Memoir Club, and correspondence from the Bell family and others with Duncan Grant.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The collection has been arranged into two series:

TGA 20096/1 Writings by Vanessa Bell

TGA 20096/2 Correspondence

Conditions governing access:

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Usual copyright restrictions apply.

Finding aids:

Online and paper catalogue available

Detailed catalogue


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to Tate Archive by Henrietta Garnett, June 2009.



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Suzanne Keyte for AIM25 from the Tate Archive catalogue

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with the General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD (G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2009

Visual arts

Personal names
Bell [née Stephen] | Vanessa | 1879–1961 | painter

Corporate names
Memoir Club