100 years after the Omega Workshops closed their doors, this exhibition explores their radical approach to interior design that brought the avant-garde into the home.
Established by the painter and art critic Roger Fry in 1913 with Charleston’s Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant as co-directors, the Omega Workshops were a design collective that included many of the most avant-garde artists of the day. Inspired by the new, vital spirit of Post-Impressionism they designed thrillingly bold, playful and inventive items for the home – from printed fabrics and textiles to ceramics, furniture and clothing.
The exhibition presents the largest collection of Omega objects in more than 30 years and traces the Workshops’ philosophy and beginnings through to their pioneering experiments in interior design that still resonate today.
As the former home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, Charleston is a fitting setting for the exhibition. The house’s playfully painted interiors, brightly decorated furniture and embroideries make it the living embodiment of a Post-Impressionist inspired home.
When Bell and Grant moved to Charleston in October 1916 they brought an array of Omega objects with them, and the exhibition also includes the tableware the Bloomsbury group ate with and the chairs they sat on.