Roger Fry (1866 to 1934) artist


(c) National Portrait Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Roger Fry Self Portrait

Photo: Roger Fry (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

Roger was another Cambridge bod, reading natural sciences. After gaining a first class (what else?) at Cambridge he went on to study painting in Paris and in Italy. My ‘berries’ don’t do things in halves. Fry went on to act as European advisor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and went on to organise the exhibition ‘Manet and the Post-Impressionists’. It all sounds very grand. Fry stuck his neck out and made it known that he thought artists such as Van Gough and Cezanne were the ones to watch, despite other art critics of the day not agreeing with him. Fry went on to teach Art History at the Slade School of Fine art and also founded the Omega Design Workshops which produced furniture, fabrics and carpets.

He was married in 1896 but his personal life was not without problems. His wife became seriously mentally ill and Roger had the almost impossible task in 1910 of agreeing, with her doctors, that she should spend the rest of her life in an asylum. That year, Fry met the Bloomsbury Group and the rest, is history. He did have a brief affair with Vanessa but then he found long term happiness with Helen Maitland Anrep. He died suddenly after a fall in 1934.

I really wanted Roger to be related in some way to Stephen Fry but my resident genealogist can find no link. Shame. He is closely related to the chocolate maker though.


Photo: Fry’s Creams by Kate Hopkins


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