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Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

The Royal Academy of Arts' famous Summer Exhibition is the world's largest open contemporary art exhibition. Paintings, sculptures, drawings and models by many distinguished artists jostle with works by unknown and emerging artists, with cash prizes and work for sale.

The Summer Exhibition was set up in 1769 as the royally appointed showcase of new British art. Its establishment transformed British artistic patronage - for the first time there was a public forum and meeting place for artist and patron. The event provided an open market for the arts and a vital boost for the artists.

Traditionally, anyone may submit their work - and anyone does. The Academy's walls are lined, floor to ceiling, with paintings and sculptures: some good, occasionally very good, and a fair number pretty dreadful. The standard of work has been lamented through the centuries by Joshua Reynolds, John Ruskin and, more recently, Brian Sewell.

Nowadays the exhibition is organised in five themed rooms: invited artists, RAs and Honorary RAs, a featured artist, a print room and open submissions.

Sir Terry Frost RA, Cinamon Tree, 2001. Courtesy of The Royal Academy, © Sir Terry Frost

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Information


When: Jun - Aug 2013 (annual)

Where: London

Cost: £10; concessions £8; students £7; 8-18s £3; under 7s free

Opening Hours: Daily 10am-6pm ( Fri until 10pm)

Address: Burlington House, Piccadilly London London Region, England, London, W1J 0BD

Hotels near Royal Academy of Arts


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