Roger Fry, Bloomsbury and Transfer Lithography

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This article investigates the adoption of transfer lithography as a printmaking process in the 1920s by Bloomsbury artist and critic Roger Fry (1866–1934), thereby filling a gap in the existing literature. It locates Fry’s use of the medium within the context of Bloomsbury innovation before the Second World War, placing more emphasis on technique than taste than is usually the case with scholarship on Bloomsbury. The article describes what was then an unusual and controversial process, which Fry used for his published lithographs, including his portfolio Ten Architectural Lithographs of 1930. It also considers the dispute surrounding the whole status of transfer lithography as a fine art form. Special attention is then paid to the 13 Fry lithographs in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection, donated by Rex Nan Kivell and Pamela Diamand, the artist’s daughter. The article then considers why these items by a very English artist were donated to a museum in New Zealand, especially by his only daughter in the UK. It concludes by considering the importance of these lithographs, arguing ultimately that they should be understood within the context of Roger Fry rather than simply by viewing the artist within the context of Bloomsbury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-18
JournalTuhinga: Records of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Issue number0
Early online date23 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020


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