Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


White Out

 [Detail, White, the Victoria and Albert Museum.]

I know. White, the name of this 1913 Omega Workshops printed linen attributed to Vanessa Bell is a little confusing considering the spirited use of color. But, like the other furnishing fabrics we looked at this week, White was apparently named for a contemporary of Bell's -- most likely suffragette Amber Blanco-White.

Bell's abstract linear design incorporates alternating stripes and a step pattern over patches of color. When I first saw it, I responded the same way I would to a Rorschach test: subjectively. For me, the blobs of color resemble falling leaves and some of the lines also suggest veins on leaves. In these podcasts,  Courtald curator for sculpture and decorative arts, Dr. Alexandra Gerstein, says that when Omega Workshops furnishing fabrics were produced, some women had them made into tunics. I however am feeling this linen for a bench, foot-stool, or bolster.

For more, visit Beyond Bloomsbury and the V & A collections.


ShinMiRyeo said...

Thanks for all of these images from the Vanessa Bell collection. Next best thing to going to the V&A.

I'm totally with you: bench, footstool, etc.

Style Court said...

Hi ShinMiRyeo,

Wouldn't it be a fab footstool?! Glad you appreciate all of these. Wish I could hop over to the Courtald or V & A this weekend.

Sunday Taylor said...

I have been enjoying all your posts on Bloomsbury related items. I read about the Christopher Farr rugs in "Elle Decor" and then saw your post about them which included the images and information about the collection of Omega designs at the Courtalud. I will be in London soon and will make a beeline to the Courtauld to see the collection. I am a huge Bloomsbury fan and live in Los Angeles. I can't wait for the opening at Christopher Farr in October to debut these rugs! I have been collecting Bloomsbury books and art for years. I can see you share this passion for the Bloomsbury design aesthetic.

Style Court said...

ST --

The Courtald and Christopher Farr in your plans-- how great! You must have loved the window Schuyler Samperton did for the Legends event in L.A. (covered beautifully by Lisa over at A Bloomsbury Life).

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Ann said...

I've been watching the entire original "Upstairs Downstairs" series over the past couple of weeks. After reading your posts about the Omega designs I began to notice that the wardrobes of some of the younger characters in series 3-5 include dresses with Omega-like patterns...could almost be exact. Thanks for the info/education re this aspect of Bloomsbury! :)

Style Court said...

Ann --

Thanks for drawing this to my attention! I'll have to check it out.