We often associate visual modernism with cosmopolitan cities on the Continent, with pride of place going to Paris, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, and Munich. English visual modernism has been studied less frequently—the very phrase “English modernism” sounds like a contradiction in terms—but it too is usually linked to the cosmopolitan center of London, as well as to the notorious postimpressionist exhibitions staged there by Roger Fry in 1910 and 1912. Fry coined the term “postimpressionism” to embrace the disparate styles of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and others that he introduced to a bewildered and skeptical public. Together with his Bloomsbury colleague Clive Bell, Fry defined the new art in formalist terms, arguing that works of visual art do not represent the world or depict a narrative but, rather, consist of “significant forms” that elicit “aesthetic emotions” from sensitive viewers. The two men deliberately sought to redefine art away from the moral and utilitarian aesthetic promoted by Victorian critics such as John Ruskin and William Morris. Fry and Bell intended to establish art as self-sufficient, independent from social utility or moral concerns. Fry at times expressed ambivalence about this formalist enterprise, but Bell had fewer hesitations in defining modern art as absolutely autonomous: as he stated in Art (1914), “To appreciate a work of art we need bring with us nothing from life, no knowledge of its ideas and affairs, no familiarity with its emotions.