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Fry: The Papers of Roger Eliot Fry

Reference Code: GBR/0272/REF

Scope and Contents

The collection includes lectures, correspondence, sketchbooks etc. accumulated by Fry during his lifetime. It also contains secondary material comprising correspondence, photocopies, notes and news cuttings assembled since Fry's death by his sister Margery, daughter Pamela Diamand, biographer Virginia Woolf, bibliographer Donald Laing and editor Denys Sutton.


  • Creation: 1873 - 1969


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in the unpublished writings of Roger Fry is held by Mrs A. Cole. Please contact the Archivist for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Roger Fry was born in Highgate, London in 1866. He was educated at St George's School, Ascot and Clifton College, and studied Natural Sciences at King's College between 1885 and 1889. He was elected to the Cambridge Apostles in 1887. In 1889 he attended Francis Bate's art school in Hammersmith.

Roger Fry became an expert on old Italian masters and French Post-Impressionist painters. He was Curator of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1906 and 1910. On his return to England he put on two controversial exhibitions of modern French art. Fry opened the Omega workshops in 1913 to encourage young artists into interior decoration, and helped John Maynard Keynes to form the London Artists' Association in the 1920s.

Fry wrote several books about art and gave popular public lectures. In 1933 he became the Slade Professor at Cambridge University. His own paintings included portraits of friends in the Bloomsbury Group.

Roger Fry married Helen Coombe on 3 December 1896; they had two children, Pamela and Julian. Helen became mentally unstable and spent most of her life in a home. From 1920 Fry spent a large part of each year in Provence.


34 archive box(es) (34 boxes) : paper, glass negatives and photographs

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in hard copy in the Archive Centre.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of Fry's papers were presented by his daughter, Pamela Diamand between 1976 and 1981.


The first listing was prepared in the late 1970s. A new catalogue was produced in 1995 which has separated records which may be considered Fry's own from those subsequently acquired.

Related Materials

Catalogues for some of the exhibitions organized by REF can be found in the Keynes collection. JMK/PP/71 is a list of Keynes's art catalogues.

Related Materials

The Tate Archive holds the papers of Helen Anrep including some REF material. is a thesis entitled 'Bloomsbury's Byzantium and the Writing of Modern Art' which examines Roger Fry's contribution.


For biographical details of Roger Fry, see: Richard Shone 'Bloomsbury Portraits' (1976); Frances Spalding 'Roger Fry: art and life' (1980); Virginia Woolf 'Roger Fry: a biography' (1940).


Fry, Roger Eliot (1866-1934), painter and art critic

1999-07-24 14:02:24+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archive Centre, King's College, Cambridge Repository

King's College
Cambridge CB2 1ST United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 331444