Memory and tradition collide in this momentous exhibition, celebrating the Royal West of England Academy’s centenary of its royal patronage - awarded by King George V in 1913 - and commemorating the Academy’s long relationship with royalty.
The exhibition presents work by RWA Academicians - past and present – placing works from the extensive collection of prints and drawings, kept in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, alongside key pieces from the RWA’s own important collection, to demonstrate the unique legacy of the Academy’s members to British art over the last one hundred years.
Formed in 1844, the RWA is affectionately known as ‘Bristol’s first art gallery’. Since its foundation it has gone on to establish a significant artistic community. Its collection of permanent artwork bears testament to this reputation, reflecting an on-going dialogue between the Academy and other international artistic hubs such as Newlyn in Cornwall, and Charleston, the bohemian Sussex home of the Bloomsbury Group.
The Royal Collection is one of the largest and most prestigious art collections in the world, including an impressive array of well-known names from throughout art history. One Hundred Years… makes exciting use of works by later nineteenth- and twentieth-century British artists, generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, and finds intriguing connections between the two collections. Works have been selected from the collection of watercolours, drawings and prints, and together they create a unique insight into the personal taste of the monarchy over the last century. Work on display includes gifts to the Royal Family, including an absorbing selection of miniature works created for Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House; and commissioned works, such as the portrait drawings of members of the Order of Merit.
Featured artists include those who have made a significant contribution to the RWA over the last century, including past presidents: Lord (Paul) Methuen PPRWA; Bernard Dunstan PPRWA; and Leonard Manasseh PPRWA. In addition a life size portrait bust, in marble, of Honorary Academician HRH The Prince of Wales by sculptor Richard Mossman, emphasises the Academy’s on-going relationship with the British Royal Family. Also accompanying the twenty-two pairings will be photographs and archive material documenting the royal decree. Combining unseen works and documentation One Hundred Years…pivots upon the captivating dialogue between history and memory, stories told and moments captured. By exploring the fascinating history between these two collections, the RWA aims to navigate this intriguing narrative, presenting artists as diverse as Walter Crane and Dame Elisabeth Frink alongside one another in this historic exhibition.
This exhibition is kindly sponsored by Duncan Lawrie Private Banking.