The Royal Academy plans to reopen in the autumn. In the meantime, new start dates for the 2020 exhibitions programme include moving the Summer Exhibition to October.
The show was first held in 1769, a year after the founding of the RA – George III was on the throne, James Cook had just landed in Tahiti and the East India Company’s stock was crashing in the Bengal Bubble.
The Summer Exhibition was designed to be open to all artists and has continued to be the world’s largest open submission art show, held without interruption for 251 years even during the two world wars. Thousands of works by amateur artists, Sunday painters, art school graduates, naifs, folk artists, print makers as well as academicians are annually submitted for inspection by a panel and the result is often a very mixed selection, which is regularly drenched in criticism. In spite of this, the Summer Exhibition is extraordinary. Sibling YBAs Jane and Louise Wilson are this year’s curators under the chair of the RA’s new president, Rebecca Salter.
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The Royal Academy, London, UK