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Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934

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role Scholar/Critic/Expert Artist
dates 1866-1934.
city London
other citiesNew York, NY;
countryUnited Kingdom
gender M
historical notes Roger Eliot Fry, art critic and artist, was born in London December 14, 1866. He studied science at King's College, Cambridge from 1885 to 1888 and during those years he also began to paint and to study the history of Italian painting.

In 1891 he made his first trip to Italy and in 1894 he began to lecture, with great success, on the Italian Renaissance. From 1900 onwards he wrote articles and reviewed exhibitions for Athenaeum, The Monthly Review and The Burlington Magazine. He quickly earned a considerable reputation as an art scholar and expert, and in 1905 he became director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, a position he held until 1910. In that year, Fry arranged the first English exhibition of post-impressionist painting at the Grafton Galleries, and became a recognized advocate of modern painting. He was also an influential force in the Bloomsbury group. In 1913 he founded the Omega Workshops which made furniture, pottery, fabrics and other articles in an avant-garde style. The workshops, which closed in 1919, employed such Bloomsbury artists as Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, among others.

After World War I Fry focused on developing his aesthetic ideas. Between 1927 and 1934 he gave a series of highly successful lectures at the Queen's Hall in London which were sponsored by the National Art Collections Fund. He published numerous articles and books on art criticism and theory, among them Transformations and Vision and Design. In 1933 he became Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge. Although Fry's paintings, chiefly landscapes, were exhibited at the New English Art Club and the Alpine Club Gallery, it was as an art critic that Fry achieved greatest importance. He died September 9, 1934 in London.

See also:
Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934. "Letters of Roger Fry," edited with an introduction by Denys Sutton. London, Chatto and Windus, 1972.

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Archive Location Collection Title Links
Washington State University Libraries Roger Eliot Fry papers, 1909-1936 see details...
Archives of American Art August Jaccaci papers, 1889-1935 (bulk 1904-1914). see details...
Archives of American Art Isabella Stewart Gardner papers, 1760-1956. see details...
Archives of American Art Jacques Maroger papers, 1923-1990. see details...
Washington State University Libraries Roger Eliot Fry Letters, 1889-1927. see details...
King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge
The Papers of Roger Eliot Fry, 1873–1969. see details...
National Portrait Gallery Library Artist file: Fry, Roger Eliot , 1866-1934 see details...
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Office of the Secretary records, 1870-[ongoing]. see details...