Cressida Bell | Beyond Bloomsbury

Eerdmans is pleased to present Cressida Bell: Beyond Bloomsbury, a new collection of the British designer’s hand-painted lamps and shades, furniture forms, and other objets d’art. The exhibition runs from October 6 to November 10.

As the title suggests, Beyond Bloomsbury is the work of an artist, textile designer, and decorator who is descended from creative royalty and, over a four-decade career, has forged her own inimitable style. Bell’s forebears include members of the Bloomsbury Group, the early 20th-century collective of English writers, philosophers, and artists who gathered at (and eccentrically decorated) Charleston, the historic farmhouse where they lived in Sussex. Cressida’s father was writer and artist Quentin Bell, her grandmother painter Vanessa Bell, her grandfather critic Clive Bell, and her great-aunt the writer Virginia Woolf.


October 06-November 10, 2023


14 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10003

While familial influence can be seen in Cressida’s work—namely, in the shared love of color and pattern—the level of rigor and precision she’s come to achieve in her own craft, with her vibrant geometry, painstakingly plotted and steadily rendered, has perhaps more in common with masterly Ottoman design traditions than with any of the loose, painterly gestures on view at Charleston.

Beyond Bloomsbury spans the range of objects Bell is celebrated for producing from her London studio: the lamps (“unusually large for me—and quite spectacular,” she says) and the lampshades (painted with translucent dyes, so they glow just so), plus a firescreen (flowers on one side, geometric reverse), a wooden chest, a tripod table, and last but not least a spread of the shawls and scarves whose devotees include Queen Camilla and Joanna Lumley. Most of the pieces are one-offs created specially for the show.

Whatever the form, it’s all unmistakably and exuberantly Cressida, who for inspiration draws on classical, Turkish, Indian, and African design, as well as the natural environment, specifically leaf shapes. “I love pure pattern, so that’s what I’m looking for in both nature and the man-made world,” she says.