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Bloomsbury South

The Arts in Christchurch 1933 - 1953

Bloomsbury South by Peter Simpson
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For two decades in Christchurch, New Zealand, a cast of extraordinary men and women remade the arts. Variously between 1933 and 1953, Christchurch was the home of Angus and Bensemann and McCahon, Curnow and Glover and Baxter, the Group, the Caxton Press and the Little Theatre, Landfall and Tomorrow, Ngaio Marsh and Douglas Lilburn. It was a city in which painters lived with writers, writers promoted musicians, in which the arts and artists from different forms were deeply intertwined. And it was a city where artists developed a powerful synthesis of European modernist influences and an assertive New Zealand nationalism that gave mid-century New Zealand cultural life its particular shape.In this book, Simpson tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ‘Bloomsbury South’ and the arts and artists that made it. Simpson brings to life the individual talents and their passions, but he also takes us inside the scenes that they created together: Bethell and her visiting coterie of younger poets; Glover and Bensemann’s exacting typography at the Caxton Press; the yearly exhibitions and aesthetic clashes of the Group; McCahon and Baxter’s developing friendship; the effects of Brasch’s patronage; Marsh’s Shakespearian re-creations at the Little Theatre. Simpson re-creates a Christchurch we have lost, where a group of artists collaborated to create a distinctively New Zealand art which spoke to the condition of their country as it emerged into the modern era.
Auckland University Press; July 2016
364 pages; ISBN 9781775588542
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Title: Bloomsbury South
Author: Peter Simpson
 
ISBNs
9781775588542
9781775588566
9781869408480