THE ROYAL ACADEMY
Behind an Augustan facade off London’s Piccadilly lies a treasure-house of beauty and colour. This is Burlington House – the home of the Royal Academy of Arts since 1869, whose exhibitions attract thousands of visitors every year.
The Royal Academy’s services to the arts began nearly 200 years ago. In 1768 a group of leading painters, sculptors and architects presented a memorial to King George II, seeking his interest in promoting an institution dedicated to encouraging art through a school of design and the holding of an annual exhibition of contemporary work.
The Academy’s prime purpose is teaching art to a number of Britain’s most talented students. About 100 students attend the Academy Schools and are trained in the Schools of Painting and Drawing, Sculpture and Architecture. They are selected by competitive examination from young men and women who have spent two or more years at London or provincial art schools.
The two principal public attractions of the Royal Academy are the famous series of Winter Exhibitions and the annual Summer Exhibition. From time to time the Academy also organizes special exhibitions in its smaller Diploma Gallery, which takes its name from the “diploma works” which every Royal Academician must present on election.
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