ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS The museum is celebrating 250 years of style – and we’re all invited
250 years young: the much-loved independent art institution is celebrating its anniversary, and we’re all invited
Now is the time to make tracks to the Royal Academy, because this grande dame of a London gallery is celebrating its extraordinary record of promoting art, architecture and education since it opened in 1768 with a stellar year of exhibitions. This year will see eccentric British artist Grayson Perry taking charge of the Academy’s Summer Exhibition, which will be complemented by a sister show looking at the past 250 years of the annual spectacle (featuring works by notable past entrants from JMW Turner to Zaha Hadid). For autumn, there will be a retrospective of ‘starchitect’ and Shard creator Renzo Piano’s greatest hits, and a showcase of avant-garde Austrian painters Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt’s drawings. Before all of those treats, though, you can enjoy historic works by old masters galore – Titian, Van Dyck, Rubens – in the unmissable ‘Charles I: King and Collector’ show (27 January–15 April).
STELLAR EXHIBITIONS AND BRAND-NEW GALLERIES – THERE ARE MANY REASONS TO VISIT THE ROYAL ACADEMY THIS YEAR
Unveiled on 19 May, the Royal Academy’s dramatic site developments by British architect David Chipperfield will bring further innovation. Burlington House – the Palladian building and courtyard situated off of Piccadilly, which was the RA as we knew it – has now been joined with the equally grand, but hitherto somewhat isolated Burlington Gardens building behind it (acquired by the Royal Academy in 2005) by a unifying pouredconcrete bridge (above right). The new spaces inside the structure include an amphitheatre for talks (right), studios and a students’ garden, which will sit at the heart of the site. There are also extensive new exhibition areas, where visitors can discover changing free-admission displays of parts of the Royal Academy’s 46,000-piece art collection – which has largely, until now, been stored out of the public eye (royalacademy.org.uk).