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 1926
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on board
    H 70 x W 56 cm
    Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council
    View into a Garden
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council

  • Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano

    c. 1908

    Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano c.1908
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 18.5 x W 24 cm
    Charleston
    Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

  • Cornish Cottage

    c. 1900

    Cornish Cottage c.1900
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on board
    H 22.5 x W 17.5 cm
    Charleston
    Cornish Cottage
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

  • Roger Fry

    Roger Fry 1912
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on panel
    H 29.3 x W 23.6 cm
    National Portrait Gallery, London
    Roger Fry
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting

    Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting 1912
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on wood
    H 51.1 x W 53 cm
    Tate
    Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tate

  • Conversation Piece

    Conversation Piece 1912
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on board
    H 25 x W 30 cm
    University of Hull Art Collection
    Conversation Piece
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: University of Hull Art Collection

  • 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)
    Study for Berwick Church: The Shepherd
    © 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)
    Interior, 8 Fitzroy Street
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

  • Still Life, Asolo, Italy 1955
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    H 45.7 x W 38.1 cm
    Jerwood Collection
    Still Life, Asolo, Italy
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Jerwood Collection

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

  • Conversation 1913–1916
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 86.6 x W 81 cm
    The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)
    Conversation
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Courtauld

  • Interior c.1940
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Gouache on board
    H 36.5 x W 44 cm
    Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service
    Interior
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

  • Landscape
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 72.8 x W 55.7 cm
    The Wilson
    Landscape
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: Bridgeman 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
    View of an Italian Town through an Archway
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images

  • 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)
    Flowers on a Balcony
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

  • 8 Fitzroy Street
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 65 x W 47 cm
    Towner
    8 Fitzroy Street
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Towner

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

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

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

  • Interior with a Housemaid c.1939
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 74 x W 54 cm
    Williamson Art Gallery & Museum
    Interior with a Housemaid
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

  • Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) c.1912
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on panel
    H 55 x W 45 cm
    National Trust, Monk's House
    Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Trust Images

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

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

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

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

  • Portrait of Mrs M. 1919
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 68.2 x W 56.8 cm
    The Fitzwilliam Museum
    Portrait of Mrs M.
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Fitzwilliam Museum

  • Asters and Hydrangeas
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 55 x W 46 cm
    Government Art Collection
    Asters and Hydrangeas
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Government Art Collection

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

  • Abstract Painting c.1914
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 44.1 x W 38.7 cm
    Tate
    Abstract Painting
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tate

  • Apples c.1916/1917
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 52 x W 44.5 cm
    National Trust, Monk's House
    Apples
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images

  • Nude with Poppies 1916
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 23.4 x W 42.4 cm
    Museum & Art Swindon
    Nude with Poppies
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Museum & Art Swindon

  • Still Life with a Plaster Head c.1947
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on board
    H 53.5 x W 44.5 cm
    Charleston
    Still Life with a Plaster Head
    © 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 Pond at Charleston, East Sussex
    © 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
    The Duomo in Lucca, Italy
    © 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
    West Pier, Brighton, East Sussex
    © 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
    Self Portrait
    © 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
    A Girl Reading
    © 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
    Charleston, East Sussex
    © 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
    Landscape with Buildings
    © estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

  • Nude c.1922–3
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 81.3 x W 65.4 cm
    Tate
    Nude
    © Tate. Image credit: Tate

  • Interior with a Table 1921
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil on canvas
    H 54 x W 64.1 cm
    Tate
    Interior with a Table
    © Tate. Image credit: Tate

  • David Garnett 1915
    Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
    Oil & gouache on cardboard
    H 76.4 x W 52.6 cm
    National Portrait Gallery, London
    David Garnett
    © National Portrait Gallery, London. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London