The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, May 7, 2015


Below stairs in Bloomsbury: The untold story of Grace Higgens, 'The Angel of Charleston'
Grace Higgens by Vanessa Bell © The Estate of Vanessa Bell courtesy of Henrietta Garnett.
LONDON.- This week the British Library publishes the first biography of Grace Higgens, housekeeper to the artist Vanessa Bell for fifty years. The Angel of Charleston offers a quirky insider’s insight into life with the Bloomsbury group as well as a glimpse into Grace’s own character from her unseen diaries and letters from the time.

Acquired by the British Library in 2007, the Grace Higgens archive includes accounts of her years in Gordon Square, Charleston and the South of France giving a vivid and intimate picture of life with the Bells and their friends, complementing what we already know of the 'above stairs' world of the Bloomsbury set.

The Angel of Charleston features moving entries about the death of Vanessa Bell in 1961 and of Grace's final years at Charleston looking after the elderly Duncan Grant, but also humorous descriptions of the varied denizens of Charleston, such as Lydia Lopokova, Roger Fry, E. M. Forster and, of course, Virginia Woolf - 'I met Mr and Mrs Leonard Woolf, riding on their bicycles to Charleston. They looked absolute freaks.'

Grace’s perceptive and humorous impressions of key Bloomsbury figures are accompanied by descriptions of the daily life of a servant in mid-twentieth-century England, illuminating a little-known era of domestic service and giving a below-stairs view of life at the eccentric heart of Britain’s cultural life.

Stewart Mackay, author of the book and the archivist who explored Grace’s life when cataloguing her archive, says: ‘How fascinating to have a truly fresh perspective upon life in Bloomsbury! Such a voice, which adds significantly to the Bloomsbury picture, has emerged from obscurity in recent years. It echoes out from the heart of the house, below the Turkish carpets and varnished floorboards. It is the voice of Grace Higgens.’

Stewart MacKay is a writer, archivist and cultural historian. He has taught Art History throughout Italy for the past seven years, guest-lectured in English Literature across the United States and has worked as an archivist at the British Library.





Today's News

October 13, 2013

Exhibition sheds light on the Netherlands' greatest abstract artist's Amsterdam years

Major survey of Edgar Allan Poe's literary career being held at the Morgan Library & Museum

Christie's to offer The Orange: The largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world

Henry Moore's reclining figure to feature at Christie's Impressionist & Modern Art Sale in November

Andy Warhol is the main actor of the autumn exhibition at Blu / Palazzo d'Arte e Cultura

FLAG Art Foundation celebrates its 5th anniversary this fall with two exhibitions

Exhibition at Alan Cristea Gallery features thirteen of the gallery's most significant artists

Memories and melodies of Edith Piaf fill the Paris air on the 50th anniversary of her death

Below stairs in Bloomsbury: The untold story of Grace Higgens, 'The Angel of Charleston'

Participatory City: 100 urban trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab opens at the Guggenheim Museum

Hamburger Kunsthalle opens exhibition dedicated to art dealer and collector Alfred Flechtheim

Brooklyn Museum presents first museum survey of artist Wangechi Mutu in the United States

Apollo 11 flown crew-signed commemorative cover could bring $40,000+ at Heritage Auctions

First UK solo exhibition by American artist and actor Billy Zane opens at Rook & Raven Gallery

Kara Walker's first major solo show in the UK opens at Camden Arts Centre

Russian photographer Tim Parchikov opens exhibition at the Domus Artium DA2 Center in Salamanca

World premiere of Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler's Eighteen at Linda Pace Foundation

30 Americans offers comprehensive portrait of contemporary African American art

Versace mansion closes, readies for art exhibit?

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Art Institute of Chicago to receive largest gift of art in the museum's 136-year history

2.- Fake Chinese painting dupes visitors to London's Dulwich Picture Gallery

3.- All new Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum of American Art reopens in New York

4.- World's first auction of Iraqi Modernism sets world record prices at Bonhams

5.- Museum of Modern Art launches walking tour of Jacob Lawrence's Harlem

6.- 7.8-magnitude earthquake deals heavy blow to Nepal's rich cultural heritage

7.- Exhibition of recent paintings and pastels by Lisa Yuskavage opens at David Zwirner

8.- From Sèvres to Fifth Avenue: Exhibition of French porcelain opens at The Frick Collection

9.- Sotheby's to offer extremely rare elephant bird egg expected to fetch £30,000-50,000 at auction

10.- First major exhibition in the UK to present a history of Indigenous Australia opens



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site