Fonds 68 - Duncan Grant fonds

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00399 68


Duncan Grant fonds


  • predominant 1945-1977 (Creation)
  • 1905-1977 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

5 cm of textual records
11 photographs : b&w

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Duncan Grant was a British painter and member of the Bloomsbury Group. Born in Inverness, Scotland, his earliest years were spent in India and Burma, before returning to England in 1894 to attend St. Paul’s school in London, where he was under the care of his aunt and uncle, the parents of Lytton Strachey. He attended the Westminster School of Art in 1902, and a few years after that met members of what was to become the Bloomsbury Group. After a year in Paris he returned to London to become a regular at Bloomsbury gatherings, and in 1911 he worked on his first major commission. From 1914 on he lived and worked with Vanessa Bell, a relationship that would last nearly fifty years despite the fact she was married to Clive Bell. During World War I Grant was a pacifist who was eventually recognized as a conscientious objector . His first one-man exhibition was in 1920, and until the late 1930’s he was recognized as one of the most important British artists. He travelled widely with Vanessa Bell in Europe, and continued painting and travelling after her death in 1961. He died in 1978.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Correspondence, 1962-1963, was acquired in July 1992 from Sothebys as part of a lot including the publication Euphrosyne: a collection of verse; other records in Accession 2009.09 were acquired from dealer Michael Silverman in April 2009 Records in Accession 2009.14 were acquired from dealer Peter Grogan in May 2009 Records in Accession 2009.16 were acquired from Simon Watney in June 2009.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence regarding the authorship of the poems in “Euphrosyne”: to Lady Aberconway from Duncan Grant, 1962; between Lady Aberconway and the British Museum, 1962-1963; and between Lady Aberconway’s Secretary and Cambridge University Library, 1962-1963; and to Philip Gibbons, 1945-1959, re Grant’s paintings and other matters. Also includes personal letters and postcards regarding travel and other activities, and relationships and other topics, written by Grant to Simon Watney, 1969-1977; three letters to Grant with sketches by him on the verso, 1905, 1906, 1940; photographs, including Grant as a young man and Charleston home; a letter by Grant and two to him; a note and a ticket signed by Grant; notes and other material re Grant paintings and models; a postcard sent by Virginia Woolf with a clipping pasted on, 1929.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • Italian

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Accession area

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