Mantelpiece Modernism: The Omega Workshops, Bloomsbury, and Gordine
27 September – 17 November 2018
The mantelpiece is explored as a site of public and private curation, and as a platform for modernism.
This exhibition reimagines the mantlepieces and overmantels by exploring the creative boundaries between domestic and studio interiors, and the ways artists curate and engage with their own environments.
On display are items produced by The Omega Workshops (1913–1919), a radical interior decorating firm who responded to Continental modernism; work by artist members of the Bloomsbury Group, including Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, and Vanessa Bell; and modernist sculpture and decorative arts drawn from the museum's collections.
Historical photographs of Dorich House interiors provide a revealing insight into how émigré sculptor, Dora Gordine and her husband, Richard Hare, an academic on Russian culture, repeatedly arranged and curated its many mantelpieces and overmantels.
The exhibition includes an important display of modern British lusterware, a subject previously overlooked in histories of Omega ceramics, and investigates Omega’s early experiments in the medium including pieces not exhibited before.