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Oh, To Be a Painter!


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These formally inventive texts by Virginia Woolf examine the connection between the literary writer and the visual artist and are innovative in their treatment of ideas about color and modern art as experienced in picture galleries.

About the Author

Dr. Claudia Tobin is a writer, literary critic, curator, and art historian specializing in the relationship between modern and contemporary literature and the visual arts. She is the author of Modernism and Still Life: Artists, Writers, Dancers (2020) and co-editor of Ways of Drawing: Artists' Perspectives and Practices (2019). She has worked on two major exhibitions exploring Virginia Woolf's life and art, including Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision at the National Portrait Gallery (2014) and Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by her Writings (Tate St Ives, Pallant House, Fitzwilliam Museum, 2018) and has curated numerous exhibitions on contemporary artists. Tobin is a senior research associate at the Intellectual Forum, Jesus College Cambridge, and a visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London.


"Woolf analyzes paintings and films with unleashed imagination. Her writing on art is a space to reflect, conjecture, and explore, and offers a fascinating glimpse at a period when art's look and meaning were shifting rapidly"-- "Hyperallergic"

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