The National Portrait Gallery Presents VIRGINIA WOOLF: ART, LIFE AND VISION, 7/10-10/26

The exhibition also considers Woolf's political awareness, which was particularly prominent during the Spanish Civil War. In her book Three Guineas, published in 1938, Woolf asks "What can we do to prevent war?", and she supported fundraising events for those affected by the Spanish Civil War. The exhibition includes one of Picasso'sWeeping Woman drawings which he created specifically for a fundraising event at the Royal Albert Hall, at which Virginia and Leonard Woolf sat on the platform.

From the age of thirteen, Woolf suffered from bouts of mental illness. In 1941, at the relatively young age of fifty-nine, Woolf committed suicide. The letter that she wrote to Vanessa Bell, shortly before she died, is held in the British Library's Manuscript Collection and is on rare public display as part of the exhibition.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, says: 'Virginia Woolf was one of Britain's most important writers and thinkers, who played a pivotal role at the heart of modernism in the early twentieth century. I am delighted that the National Portrait Gallery is staging a major exhibition dedicated to the life, work and imagery of such a significant figure in British history. '

Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision follows on from previous National Portrait Gallery literary exhibitions that have combined portraiture with biography, including the presentation of the Sitwell family in 1994 and the examination of Lord Byron in 2002.

Curator of Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision, Frances Spalding, is an art historian, critic and biographer. Her reputation was established with Roger Fry: Art and Life in 1980, after which she went on to write lives of the artists Vanessa Bell, John Minton, Duncan Grant and Gwen Raverat. Her survey history, British Art since 1900, in the Thames & Hudson World of Art series has been much used in schools, colleges and universities. In 2000 she joined Newcastle University where she is now Professor of Art History. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and in 2005 was made a CBE for services to literature.


The exhibition runs from 10 July until 26 October 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery, London

Admission charges:

Adult £7 (with Gift Aid)

Seniors £6.50/Concessions £6

Photo Credit: Virginia Woolf by Vanessa Bell c.1912 © Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy Henrietta Garnett. Photo credit: © National Trust / Charles Thomas