The Royal Academy of Arts in London is celebrating their 250th anniversary unveiling their newly expanded campus.
The Royal Academy of Arts, the world’s foremost artist and architect-led institution, will open its new campus to the public on Saturday 19 May 2018 as part of the celebrations of its 250th anniversary year.
This transformational redevelopment was designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield CBE RA, who has taken the two historic sites, Burlington House and Burlington Gardens, and connected them into a new, sparkling cultural campus – with two front doors. The unified campus provides 70% more public space than the RA’s original Burlington House footprint, enabling the RA to expand its exhibition and events programme, and to create new and free displays of art and architecture across the campus for visitors year-round.
For the first time, treasures from the RA’s historic Collection are on display for free all across the site. In a new gallery, visitors will find works by artists including Michelangelo, Constable and Gainsborough, along with a spectacular 16th-century copy of The Last Supper. Crossing through the Vaults, visitors will pass casts of ancient Greek and Roman statues in a display exploring 250 years of artistic teaching in the RA Schools, while another display presents highlights from the sculpture collection.
The brand-new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries will display major exhibitions with a focus on living artists and architects, and the newly-designed 250-seat Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, is due to present an exciting series of events that build on the RA’s tradition of hosting debates and discussions, and inviting celebrated thinkers from across the arts to come and share their ideas and opinions.
For as long as there’s been a Royal Academy of Arts, there’s been RA Schools. Artists on a free three-year postgraduate coursework in studios just beyond the galleries, but they’ve typically been off-limits to visitors. Now, students at the RA Schools will have their own public project space — the Weston Studio. Throughout the year, individuals and groups from the Schools at various stages of their training will take over the space, using it as a testing ground for innovative works and thought-provoking installations.
The freshly transformed campus will also provide plenty of space for the visitors to relax and unwind. New areas to eat and drink include the Senate Room bar and an all-day restaurant located within The Dorfman Senate Rooms on the first floor, which is a magnificent double-height space, formerly the meeting place of the Senate of the University of London. Further cafes and shops are located either side of the Burlington Gardens entrance.
To celebrate the opening of The New RA, the institution has prepared an exciting schedule of exhibitions, events tours and parties which you can find out more about on their website www.royalacademy.org.uk/ra250