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Short biography
Frances Spalding, née Crabtree, read art history at the University of Nottingham and began writing journalism and books while still a post-graduate student. In 1974, she married Julian Spalding, an art critic. During the late 1970s and 1980s, she wrote extensively on 20th-century British art, at the same time developing an interest in biography. Her reputation was established with Roger Fry: Art and Life (1980), based on her doctoral thesis, and went on to write lives of the artists Vanessa Bell, John Minton, Duncan Grant and Gwen Raverat, as well as a biography of the poet Stevie Smith. Her survey history, British Art since 1900, is much used in schools, colleges and universities. In 2000, she joined Newcastle University, where she is now Professor of Art History. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art, and in 2005 was made a Companion of the British Empire. She is a trustee of the Charleston Trust, the country home of the Bloomsbury Group.
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