Roger Fry (1866 – 1934) was a British painter, writer, art critic, designer, and lecturer. He was born in London.
Between 1885 – 1890, he studied natural sciences, Cambridge University where he was a friend of Charles Robert Ashbee. However he turned to painting which he pursued in England and at the Académie Julian, Paris, 1892.
He wrote articles for the Athenaeum and Burlington Magazine. He published his first book on Giovanni Bellini (1899).
Between 1906-10, he was the curator, of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in conflict with its chair J.P. Morgan. He discovered Cézanne at this time as well as the French avant-garde painters, he introduced their work to British audiences in an exhibition of post-impressionism ( a term that he coined) in 1910.
In 1910, met Clive and Vanessa Bell. He became the artistic leader of the Bloomsbury group. He had affairs with Lady Ottoline Morrell and Vanessa Bell.
In c1911, he produced paintings that showed Byzantine. and Post-Impressionist influences.
In 1913, he opened the Omega Workshops in an attempt to apply Post-Impressionism to the decorative arts. Between 1913-19, was its co-director, designing textiles, pottery, and furnishings including painted furniture. The workshop was set up to provide income for Fry’s young avant-garde artist friends, including Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
The printed and woven fabrics, carpets, and embroideries designed and sold by Omega Workshops artisans revolutionized Britain’s textile design early in the 20th century.
In 1919, Fry closed the workshop. In his last ten years, he published eight more books on art. He lectured on art at Queen’s Hall, London. He began to paint commissioned portraits in 1933, Slade professor, Cambridge University, espousing unorthodox views on Greek and ethnographic art. His ashes were interred in an urn decorated by Vanessa Bell.
Sample of Works
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
Hiesinger, K. B., & Marcus, G. H. (1995). Landmarks of twentieth-century design: an illustrated handbook. Abbeville Press.
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