Fry, Roger, 1866-1934

Alternative names
Birth 1866-12-14
Death 1934-09-09

Biographical notes:

Painter, art critic, Bloomsbury group member and founder of the Omega Workshops.

From the description of Translations from Mallarmé, [ca. 1921]. (Washington State University). WorldCat record id: 29853251

British critic, art historian and painter.

From the description of Letters, ca. 1900-1927. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 77576213

From the description of Letters sent to Simon Bussy and family, 1903-1928. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 78297315

English art historian, art critic, and painter.

From the description of The artist as decorator / by Roger Fry, [1917?]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702146155

Roger Fry was an English painter and art critic. Born into a Quaker family and educated at Cambridge, he studied painting in Italy and began to lecture on art. He published biographies, criticism, and art theory, as well as exhibiting paintings. He is probably best remembered for his promotion of Post-Impressionism, a phrase he coined to describe the merging of classical painting structure with the Impressionist sense of color, exemplified by Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, and van Gogh. He was also affiliated with the Bloomsbury group, and continued to lecture and paint throughout his life.

From the description of Roger Fry letters to Mrs. Hammersley, 1904. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 56937437

English critic and painter.

From the description of Autograph postcard signed : [London], to Julian Bell, 1933 Oct. 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270753017

English artist; member of "Bloomsbury Group."

From the description of Papers, 1909-1936. (Washington State University). WorldCat record id: 29854103

Roger Eliot Fry, art critic and artist, was born in London December 14, 1866. He studied science at King's College, Cambridge from 1885 to 1888 and during those years he also began to paint and to study the history of Italian painting. In 1891 he made his first trip to Italy and in 1894 he began to lecture, with great success, on the Italian Renaissance. From 1900 onwards he wrote articles and reviewed exhibitions for Athenaeum, The Monthly Review and The Burlington Magazine. He quickly earned a considerable reputation as an art scholar and expert, and in 1905 he became director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, a position he held until 1910. In that year, Fry arranged the first English exhibition of post-impressionist painting at the Grafton Galleries, and became a recognized advocate of modern painting. He was also an influential force in the Bloomsbury group. In 1913 he founded the Omega Workshops which made furniture, pottery, fabrics and other articles in an avant-garde style. The workshops, which closed in 1919, employed such Bloomsbury artists as Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, among others.

After World War I Fry focused on developing his aesthetic ideas. Between 1927 and 1934 he gave a series of highly successful lectures at the Queen's Hall in London which were sponsored by the National Art Collections Fund. He published numerous articles and books on art criticism and theory, among them Transformations and Vision and Design. In 1933 he became Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge. Although Fry's paintings, chiefly landscapes, were exhibited at the New English Art Club and the Alpine Club Gallery, it was as an art critic that Fry achieved greatest importance. He died September 9, 1934 in London.

From the guide to the Roger Eliot Fry Papers, 1909-1936, (Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections)


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  • Bloomsbury group
  • Literature
  • Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Courage
  • Posters, British--20th cent
  • Painting, British
  • Artists, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Art criticism
  • Artists
  • House painting
  • Painting, British--20th century
  • Art critics--Correspondence
  • Art historians
  • Tempera painting
  • Interior decoration
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Art, Modern--20th century


  • Photographers
  • Artists


  • Great Britain (as recorded)