19 October 2024 - 23 February 2025


Vanessa Bell was a key figure in 20th-century British art and played a central role in the Bloomsbury Group. The exhibition at MK Gallery – the first solo show of Bell’s work in over seven years and the largest to date – will be an overview spanning the artist’s illustrious career, including over 120 items.


It is still little known that Bell’s pioneering work was at the forefront of British abstraction and less still her role in creating the conditions in which artistic practice could flourish from the Friday Club to Omega Workshops. The exhibition will include all aspects of her practice across fine and applied art.

Artists featured in this Curation: Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) and Duncan Grant (1885–1978)
42 artworks
View into a Garden
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council

View into a Garden 1926

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on board

H 70 x W 56 cm

Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council

Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano c.1908

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 18.5 x W 24 cm

Charleston

Cornish Cottage
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Cornish Cottage c.1900

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on board

H 22.5 x W 17.5 cm

Charleston

Roger Fry
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

Roger Fry 1912

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on panel

H 29.3 x W 23.6 cm

National Portrait Gallery, London

Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tate

Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting 1912

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on wood

H 51.1 x W 53 cm

Tate

Conversation Piece
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: University of Hull Art Collection

Conversation Piece 1912

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on board

H 25 x W 30 cm

University of Hull Art Collection

Study for Berwick Church: The Shepherd
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

Study for Berwick Church: The Shepherd 1941

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on wood

H 121 x W 59 cm

RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

Interior, 8 Fitzroy Street
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

Interior, 8 Fitzroy Street

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 75 x W 62 cm

RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

Still Life, Asolo, Italy
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Jerwood Collection

Still Life, Asolo, Italy 1955

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

H 45.7 x W 38.1 cm

Jerwood Collection

The Toilet of Venus
© Estate of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Image credit: Southampton City Art Gallery

The Toilet of Venus 1929

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) and Duncan Grant (1885–1978)

Oil on canvas

H 213.4 x W 139.3 cm

Southampton City Art Gallery

Conversation
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Courtauld

Conversation 1913–1916

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 86.6 x W 81 cm

The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Interior
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

Interior c.1940

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Gouache on board

H 36.5 x W 44 cm

Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

Landscape
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: Bridgeman Images

Landscape

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 72.8 x W 55.7 cm

The Wilson

View of an Italian Town through an Archway
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images

View of an Italian Town through an Archway 1912

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on panel

H 37.5 x W 27 cm

National Trust, Monk's House

Flowers on a Balcony
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

Flowers on a Balcony 1957

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on board

H 57.5 x W 38.5 cm

RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

8 Fitzroy Street
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Towner

8 Fitzroy Street

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 65 x W 47 cm

Towner

Still Life by the Studio Window
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums

Still Life by the Studio Window c.1950

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 68 x W 61 cm

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums

The Apse of the Duomo, Pisa
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images

The Apse of the Duomo, Pisa 1912

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on panel

H 33.5 x W 22.5 cm

National Trust, Monk's House

Bacchanale
© Estate of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Image credit: Southampton City Art Gallery

Bacchanale 1929

Duncan Grant (1885–1978) and Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 213.4 x W 137 cm

Southampton City Art Gallery

Interior with a Housemaid
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Interior with a Housemaid c.1939

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 74 x W 54 cm

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Trust Images

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) c.1912

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on panel

H 55 x W 45 cm

National Trust, Monk's House

Still Life (Triple Alliance)
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds

Still Life (Triple Alliance) c.1914

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Collage with paper, oil & pastel on canvas

H 81.9 x W 60.3 cm

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds

Flowers in a Glass Vase
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Flowers in a Glass Vase c.1930

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 75 x W 50.2 cm

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Interior with Duncan Grant (1885–1978)
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Interior with Duncan Grant (1885–1978) 1934

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 112.2 x W 97.3 cm

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Bottles and Jug on a Table
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Trust Images

Bottles and Jug on a Table c.1915/1917

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 81.5 x W 62 cm

National Trust, Monk's House

Portrait of Mrs M.
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Fitzwilliam Museum

Portrait of Mrs M. 1919

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 68.2 x W 56.8 cm

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Asters and Hydrangeas
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Government Art Collection

Asters and Hydrangeas

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 55 x W 46 cm

Government Art Collection

Vase and Flowers
© Estate of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Image credit: Southampton City Art Gallery

Vase and Flowers 1929

Duncan Grant (1885–1978) and Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 213.4 x W 91.6 cm

Southampton City Art Gallery

Abstract Painting
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tate

Abstract Painting c.1914

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 44.1 x W 38.7 cm

Tate

Apples
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images

Apples c.1916/1917

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 52 x W 44.5 cm

National Trust, Monk's House

Nude with Poppies
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Museum & Art Swindon

Nude with Poppies 1916

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 23.4 x W 42.4 cm

Museum & Art Swindon

Still Life with a Plaster Head
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Still Life with a Plaster Head c.1947

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on board

H 53.5 x W 44.5 cm

Charleston

The Pond at Charleston, East Sussex
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

The Pond at Charleston, East Sussex c.1916

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 29.5 x W 34.8 cm

Charleston

The Duomo in Lucca, Italy
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

The Duomo in Lucca, Italy c.1949

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 44.5 x W 37 cm

Charleston

West Pier, Brighton, East Sussex
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

West Pier, Brighton, East Sussex c.1955

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 49.5 x W 37 cm

Charleston

Self Portrait
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Self Portrait c.1958

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 45 x W 37 cm

Charleston

A Girl Reading
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

A Girl Reading c.1932

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 45.5 x W 38 cm

Charleston

Charleston, East Sussex
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Charleston, East Sussex c.1950–1955

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 59.4 x W 49 cm

Charleston

Landscape with Buildings
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Landscape with Buildings c.1912

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on plywood

H 59 x W 79 cm

Charleston

Nude
© Tate. Image credit: Tate

Nude c.1922–3

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 81.3 x W 65.4 cm

Tate

Interior with a Table
© Tate. Image credit: Tate

Interior with a Table 1921

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil on canvas

H 54 x W 64.1 cm

Tate

David Garnett
© National Portrait Gallery, London. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

David Garnett 1915

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)

Oil & gouache on cardboard

H 76.4 x W 52.6 cm

National Portrait Gallery, London