Shoreham & Southwick

Famous Women Dinner Service

The Women on Vanessa Bell's 'Famous Women' Dinner Service

In 1932 Sir Kenneth Clark commissioned Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant to create a dinner service of 50 plates, each depicting the head of a ‘famous women’.

This home-based pop up will take as its starting point the background to the creation of the plates and will go on to explore aspects of the lives of a selection of the women depicted on the plates. These will include:

֍ An early 11th century Japanese writer whose iconic novel is still read today in Japan and has inspired a myriad of artworks.

֍ A ballet dancer who created her own company, toured with it in Australia, South America and India, and inspired one of Britain’s most important choreographers to become a ballet dancer.

֍ A woman who started life as a dancer and prostitute but went on to marry an Emperor. She helped to shape laws that bettered the lives of women. When she died, she was glorified as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

֍ An Irish woman who became the mistress of a Bavarian King, and after fleeing a revolution wrote and lectured in the US on various topics including the nature of beauty.

We’ll finish by looking briefly at an American artwork from the 1970s that was indirectly inspired by the ‘Famous Women’ dinner service.

If you would like more information or want to participate please email using the bluebird email box on this page.

Page last updated 6.9.19

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Architecture Art
Art Appreciation Book Group
Book Group - Murder Mystery 1 Book Group - Murder Mystery 2
Book Group - Murder Mystery 3 Book Group - Murder Mystery 4
Bridge Craft - 1 Alternative
Craft - 2 Creative Writing
Famous Women Dinner Service Floristry 1
Floristry 2 French Beginners
French Conversation French Foundation
French Intermediate Friday General Meetings
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German foundation Gin Rummy
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History Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange
Kurling and Carpet Bowls Latin - Basic
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