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

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

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).

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