The Royal Academy – Guardians of British Artistic Taste?
Famous for its annual open Summer Exhibition, held every year without exception since 1769, the Royal Academy has been a pillar of British art for over 250 years. This talk deals with its history from its modest beginnings to its current home in Burlington House featuring David Chipperfield’s outstanding new extension. We will also explore the world of the Royal Academicians and the way their art has evolved from Joshua Reynolds and JMW Turner, through to John Everett Millais, Dame Laura Knight and finally to exciting living artists such as Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry. The RA has staged a huge number of memorable special exhibitions and we’ll reflect on some of the best of these.