Black Bloomsbury charts the black presence in an area better known for its elite literary connections. The exhibition reveals the role that people of African and Asian heritage played in the changing artistic, social, and political scenes of the interwar period and beyond.
The exhibition focuses on the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL to uncover the forgotten histories of artists and models by featuring the student work of Ivy MacKusick, Ann Tooth, Leila Leigh and JHM Innes, Denis Curry and Ernest Pascoe, white Slade students who depicted this black Bloomsbury presence. Displays will also feature the rich archival material from UCL Special Collections, the Slade Archives and UCL Record Office related to the presence of Indian Slade students during the 1920s and 1930s, including Mukul Dey, Janardan Gondhalekar, Shiavax Chavda and Indumati Sathé and Egyptian and West African students including Amy Nimr, A.A. Yousef, and Ben Enwonwu. Black Bloomsbury also refers to the political world of 1930s London - particularly pan-Africanism and the Indian independence movement – with the student diaries of William Townsend and the poster art of Priscilla Thorneycroft.
Reaching beyond the walls of the museum, Black Bloomsbury explores the diverse history of the area with a walking tour around Bloomsbury led by curator Dr Gemma Romain on Saturday the 26th of October. Join us from 12 till 1:30 to learn about the Indian Students Union, black visitors to the British Museum’s Reading Room and the fight against the ‘colour bar’ in the area.
Dr Gemma Romain will also give a talk about women from Egypt and India who studied at the Slade during the interwar period. Join us at UCL Art Museum on the 26th of November, 1 till 2pm.
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