Roger Fry, Bloomsbury, modernism, Irish art
Following fragments of evidence that are suggestive of Bloomsbury-Irish connections, this article concerns Roger Fry, his passion for painting, for people, for places and for new ideas. Charleston, the home of Bell and Grant, provided a disciplined, gregarious but autonomous setting in which artists, writers, critics and theorists could pursue their work, single-mindedly, while developing as part of a group. Initially attracted to and in love with Vanessa, Roger was attached to Charleston throughout his life, taking pleasure in being with Bell and Grant, inspired by them, often painting the same scene or subject in each others company. The surprising discovery of a painting, The Pond by Fry in the NUIG art collection one grim November day, led the author to trace the story of Roger Frys connection from Charleston in Sussex England to Galway and Ireland. Given the extensive scholarship about Fry (Woolf 1940, Spalding 1980, Reed 1996), his connection with Ireland remains obscure. The essay attempts to unravel the mystery of a found painting and give it some meaning.