Will Dallimore, Director of Public Engagement at the Royal Academy talks to us about the upcoming celebrations to mark the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary.
“We see it not only as marking a year, but also as a catalyst for an exciting renewal of the Royal Academy”
As part of the Royal Academy’s celebrations beginning in May 2018, visitors will witness the unveiling of a new and expanded site, a development designed by the world-famous architect David Chipperfield that will be truly transformative.
Will explains how the work is set to develop the Royal Academy in a number of ways, with a significant expansion in visitor facilities and critically, more exhibition space, leading to an increase in the number of major exhibitions the RA will host, from six major exhibitions per year currently, up to nine.
“We will benefit from 70% more public space, a new lecture theatre, a learning centre, a new suite of galleries for art and architecture… the list goes on”
Will’s enthusiasm for the activity planned for 2018 is infectious, with the transformation set to re-envisage the world famous institution; “most people don’t realise that the RA has an impressive Collection as well as staging temporary exhibitions, that it’s home to Britain’s longest-established art school, and indeed that it’s run by renowned artists. All of that will be apparent in the newly expanded site.”
According to Dallimore, the significant increase in free exhibitions displays – together with a new café and restaurant on the Burlington Gardens side of the RA campus – will encourage a wider audience and make the RA a place people can ‘drop-in’ during the working day.
“Our additional space will include facilities to allow people to drop-in, discover our Collection for free and take respite from the hubbub of the West End. There is something so enriching about the West End’s pace and vibrancy, but being able to step into the RA is then like stepping into a different world”
As part of our Spotlight series, celebrating the individuals and organisations that make the Heart of London area the dynamic and thriving place that it is, we ask our Guest Contributors their ‘best-kept’ secret, to discover and rediscover the hangout hotspots on our doorstep.
When we asked Will, he mentioned a few locations, with the priority for him ensuring his hangouts allow him to feel connected to the buzz of London, and that it provides inspiration for authors, artists, and creatives in general, like himself. “The Wolseley is great for meetings, and spots like Hawksmoor for pleasure” he says.
Will Dallimore is the Director of Public Engagement at the Royal Academy, which will be unveiling new and improved features to its space and its exhibition collections in May 2018, as part of its 250th anniversary celebrations.
The RA’s Charles I exhibition, which will showcase one of the greatest art collections ever assembled, is the first major exhibition of the year, opening this Saturday 27 January 2018.