Art and Architecture Lectures and Tours

A Celebration of 250 years at the Royal Academy

Famous for its annual open Summer Exhibition, held every year without exception since 1769, the Royal Academy has been a pillar of British art and art education for 250 years but has seen many changes. This talk deals with the history of the institution from its modest beginnings in Pall Mall to its current home in Burlington House and we’ll look at the way this site has developed over the years – including David Chipperfield’s sparkling new extension.

We will also explore the world of the Royal Academicians and the way their art has evolved over 250 years from Joshua Reynolds and JMW Turner, through to John Everett Millais, Dame Laura Knight and living artists such as Anthony Gormley, Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry. We’ll see a huge range of styles, some considered brilliant, others more controversial. But they are all relevant to the developing taste of British art.

The RA has staged some of the most memorable special exhibitions and we’ll reflect on some of the best of these.