“The Omega Workshops: Alliance And Enmity In English Art 1911–1920,” “The Omega Workshops 1913–19: Decorative Arts Of Bloomsbury”

Anthony D’Offay Gallery, Crafts Council Gallery

Soon after Roger Fry mounted his second notorious Post-Impressionist exhibition, in 1912, the idea of the Omega Workshops finally crystallized in his mind. He had been wanting to take the new movement in art beyond the boundaries of the galleries for some time, but until the Omega was established in the summer of 1913, his attempts had been sporadic and unsatisfactory. Although he had gathered a group of young painters together in 1911 to execute a substantial mural scheme on the dining room walls of a South London polytechnical college, the outcome was only a partial success. Fry needed a permanent base in order to develop his ambitions in a sustained way, and the Omega provided it.

As the name suggests, Fry wanted the Workshops to be seen as “the last word” in avant-garde audacity. But instead of exhibiting its products in art exhibitions, the Omega aimed at transforming a wide variety

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