The Royal Academy

Summer/ Winter Exhibition 2020 opens to the public next week.

For the first time in history, the Summer Exhibition will fall in winter. But at the RA, summer is a state of mind, not a time of year. Discover a myriad of works by household names and emerging artists inside our joyous festival of art.

We attended Buyers’ Day as our team mate Ian Gillett had bought a work at last year’s Exhibition.

On previous years there had been quite a buzz on Buyers’ Day but this year it was much quieter; not sure whether that was due to going later in the day than we have previously done, or because of the restrictions the Academy have imposed because of social-distancing measures.  On the one hand it made it easier to see the works of art, on the other hand it meant you weren’t able to overhear other people commenting that a particular work was too big to go in their second dining room or that it would clash with the decorations.

The Exhibiton is the largest ‘Open Entry’ exhibition in the world and has been going for over 250 years.  Artists who have been elected as Royal Academicians are entitled to submit works for display, other artists submit works which pass before a Selection Committee – giving the opportunity for unknown artists to be exhibited alongside the ‘Great and the Good”. Many of the works are for sale – this year the prices in the List of Works range from £85 to £756,000. The Academy takes a percentage from the sales which goes towards supporting their Graduate School.

Each year we enjoy the wide variety of works on display, although often they seem better with a glass of Pimms – sadly not this year.  Here is a selection of photographs from our visit.

The 2020 Summer/Winter Exhibition at the Royal Academy. Opening picture was by Yinka Shonibare RA ‘Air Kid’ complete with umbrella for £150,000.


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