The Omega Workshops was a design collective established by artist and critic Roger Fry in 1913. The group bridged the fine and decorative arts, producing furniture, textiles and ceramics designed by modern artists including Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. It closed in 1919.
Shown here is the front cover for Lucretius on Death (1917), the third of four books published by the Omega Workshops. It was created by Fry and Dora Carrington for Robert Calverley Trevelyan’s translation of De Rerum Natura by the Roman poet and philosopher, Titus Lucretius Carus. The design is characteristic of Omega’s style with its bold, unadorned type and abstract yet decorative lines, dots and hatching in dominant black ink on a white background. At the bottom of the design is one of several examples of an Omega ‘logo’.
The Omega Workshops is commonly associated with the Bloomsbury Group (so named after the area of London in which they lived and worked). The Bloomsbury circle of artists, writers and intellectuals included Fry, Grant and Bell, together with Bell's sister, the novelist Virginia Woolf. Woolf’s homes were furnished with Omega goods and she later collaborated with Omega artists at the Hogarth Press, the publishing house Woolf ran with her husband, Leonard Woolf.