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RA summer exhibition: An institution betrayed

First published in The Jackdaw ♯71 September 2007: Figurative painter Gary M James on the 2007 RA Summer


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Exhibition. Any outsider who entered figurative work which was not small enough to squeeze into the

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small south room had wasted their time, money 404 Not Found and effort I became a Friend of the Royal Academy not long before a painting of mine, Captain […]

in Editorials

RA summer exhibition: State Art is swallowing the RA

First published in The Jackdaw ♯21, September 2002 As the cost of non-member submission has increased so


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the chance of inclusion has diminished owing to the reduction in available room. Seemingly unstoppable, the apparently

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incurable bacterium of State Art continues to spread like a plague into every corner of culture. Like the feared 404 Not Found superbug, necrotising fasciitis, which feasts on healthy […]

in Editorials

RA summer exhibition: Why has that man got no clothes on, Dad?

First published in The Jackdaw ♯12, October 2001 Will Harvey demonstrates how 404 Not Found the RA Summer Exhibition performs a useful function for those


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who can’t get their works easily exhibited elsewhere…

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Thousands of paintings are entered for the RA Summer Exhibition. A few squeeze through the jury. Fewer still get past the Hanging Committee and onto a wall. (members – RAs […]

in Editorials

RA summer exhibition: losing transparency

First published in The Jackdaw


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♯50, July/August 2005 The RA should come clean about its intentions. It 404 Not Found was instituted to help artists not cheat

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them. 404 Not Found Whereas once the Summer Exhibition was a bazaar for the otherwise disfranchised it is now being recreated as a curated exhibition with the usual sly interference from State Art.  One strongly suspects […]

in Editorials

RA summer exhibition: not all open exhibitions are cheats

In The Jackdaw ♯8 artist Doug Lowe asked if the


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Royal Academy Summer 404 Not Found Exhibition 404 Not Found was a genuine open or an Academicians’ closed shop. Has anyone ever worked out the total cost to artists of a big show like the RA Summer Exhibition in time, depreciation of vehicles, fuel, parking, framing, mounting, entrance etc.? It must

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run into […]

in Editorials

RA summer exhibition: plus ca change

PLUS CA CHANGE: In The Jackdaw ♯10, over ten years ago, anonymous artist ‘Trimmer’ responded to the inclusion of


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guests of the young British artists who are now, coincidentally, themselves nearly 404 Not Found all Royal Academicians: Effectively,

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a whole generation of painters has been erased from the art scene, precisely because they hold some principles and adhere to some form of expression […]

in Editorials

Can the RA summer exhibition still be considered an open submission show?

… Painter Patrick Cullen supplies damning evidence that the answer is ‘No!’ A 404 Not Found detailed survey of 2011’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition reveals that the

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non-members’ work now represents only 29% of the total exhibition if measured by the amount of wall space it commands.
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This is in contrast to a figure of 78% estimated for the same show exactly one […]

in Editorials

Culture Select Committee of the House of Commons: evidence

Having already given evidence to the Culture Select Committee of the House of Commons, the editor of The Jackdaw

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was asked to justify some of his criticisms 404 Not Found in writing. What follows is his further submission to the Committee… We were discussing,
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I recall, the Arts Council Collection, a repository of some 7,546 works (plus 67 more bought in the last […]

in Editorials

Mickey Mouse museums

The word 404 Not Found ‘Disneyfication’ is usually pejorative, implying noise, trashiness and escapist superficiality. Not any more. It


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was only a matter of time before ‘difficult’ history and learning were sweetened to something more palatable and instantly gratifying. Serious cultural commentators are now using this word to describe a

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useful policy designed to increase the appeal of museums and historical sites. Boring […]

in Editorials

The RA is not a charity

Inspired by landscape painter Patrick Cullen, The Jackdaw Sept-Oct 2011 reprinted pieces about the Royal Academy that have appeared in The Jackdaw over the last eleven years. All deal with the genuine fears of artists that the Summer Exhibition is progressively a closed shop whilst being


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marketed as an ‘Open’. Patrick’s research succinctly 404 Not Found reinforces previous claims made

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by artists that […]