Fonds BELL - Papers of Clive Bell (1881-1964), art critic

Identity area

Reference code

BELL

Title

Papers of Clive Bell (1881-1964), art critic

Date(s)

  • 1902–1964 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

8 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(1881-1964)

Biographical history

Clive Bell was born on 16 September 1881 at East Shefford, son of William Heward Bell and his wife Hannah, née Cory. He attended Marlborough College and was admitted to Trinity College Cambridge in October 1899. Here he studied History, gaining a second class in both parts of the Tripos and graduating BA in 1902. During a research trip to Paris in 1904 he spent most of his time studying the art of the French capital and later under the influence of Roger Fry developed a career as an art critic. In 1914 he published his most famous work, ‘Art’, and from 1913 to 1944 produced a string of journal articles and exhibition reviews that were later gathered in a series of compilations. Later he was to produce a volume of short biographies of his British and French contemporaries – ‘Old Friends’ published in 1956.
Centred on the Bloomsbury Group, Bell’s personal life was complex. In 1907 he married Vanessa Stephen, with whom he had two sons, Julian and Quentin, but Bell’s flirtation with his sister-in law Virginia (later Woolf) saw the marriage decline to a state of mere friendship and allowed Bell to have a series of affairs while his wife lived with Duncan Grant. After WWII he moved into Charleston to join Vanessa and Duncan Grant there.
Bell died on 17 September 1964.

Archival history

The papers passed from Quentin Bell, Clive's son, to Trinity College library in 1975

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Given by Professor Quentin Bell

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscript and typescript drafts of articles, lectures, correspondence and presscuttings

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Where possible, this list follows the draft catalogue of the papers made by Quentin Bell

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

Bell, Clive, Old friends: personal recollections

Notes area

Note

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places