Book Launch | Hatchards Piccadilly



Hatchards Piccadilly 

187 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LE 

Panel Discussion, 5pm*  |  Book Launch, 6 - 8.30pm 

*Limited Capacity, please RSVP for this event by emailing Hatchards at



Please join us for a panel discussion and Q&A on The Famous Women Dinner Service. Featuring Hana Leaper (Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University), Darren Clarke (Rausing Head of Collections, Research and Exhibitions, The Charleston Trust), Nanette O'Brien (University of Oxford) and Laura Smith (Curator, Whitechapel Gallery). 


A reading by Richard Shone from his personal memoir, The Charleston Artists, will follow the panel discussion.



Join the authors and editorial team to launch our publication at Hatchards Piccadilly, the oldest bookshop in London.


Published to accompany the exhibition From Omega to Charleston: The Art of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, 1910-1934, this fully illustrated catalogue explores the work of two of the most innovative and influential British artists of the twentieth century. With an essay and catalogue entries by Richard Shone (author of Bloomsbury Portraits, 1993 and curator of The Art of Bloomsbury, Tate, 1999), the book explores the unique creative relationship shared by Bell and Grant through rarely seen works from private collections, some of which are reproduced for the first time, and a selection of loans from The Charleston Trust


The second half of the publication focusses exclusively on The Famous Women Dinner Service. Begun in 1932 at the request of the art historian and director of the National Gallery Kenneth Clark and his wife Jane, these fifty plates were decorated with images of famous women through the ages, from Sappho to Greta Garbo. Considered lost by art historians for nearly forty years, the dinner service forms an impressive testament to Bell and Grant’s close working partnership. A ground-breaking essay by Hana Leaper is succeeded by closer scholarship dedicated to the individual plates. Produced in partnership with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, this research is published in print here for the first time.




February 1, 2018