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Our top ten blogs of 2014

Published 22 December 2014

From life modelling to behind the scenes of ‘Mr Turner’, we round up our most-read blog posts from the past year.

  • Who’s who in ‘Mr. Turner’?
    Mike Leigh’s biopic of one of British art’s brightest stars features several scenes set at the RA. Curator Annette Wickham takes a look at the supporting cast of Turner’s friends and rivals at the Academy, and we share a fascinating behind-the-scenes featurette on how Leigh’s team recreated the Summer Exhibition.

    Anselm Kiefer: A beginner’s guide
    Our exhibition of legendary German artist Anselm Kiefer opened in the Main Galleries in September. Tom Jeffreys brought us some key facts about Kiefer and his work in this blog.

    Tracey Emin talks about My Bed
    The sale of Tracey Emin’s bed was one of the most talked-about art events of the year. We caught up with the Academician as it went on show at Christie’s, and you can watch the video here.

    A tailor meets The Tailor
    Our exhibition of 16th century Italian portraitist has been a hit with critics and visitors. In this video, Savile Row tailor Bryan Manning casts an expert’s eye over Moroni’s famous portrait The Tailor, one of the key works in the exhibition.

    Ed Ruscha remembers Dennis Hopper
    “He approached his photographs as a sort of wandering of the soul, followed by the familiar ka-chunk of the Nikon…” As we prepared to open our exhibition of 1960s photos by counter culture legend Dennis Hopper, Honorary Academician Ed Ruscha shared his memories of his friend in this blog post.

    Strike a pose… What it’s like to be a life model
    In April, we brought you the naked truth on what it’s like to be a life model for a room full of strangers. Carol Holt, who models for the RA’s Outreach Programme, revealed all in this interview with Anna Nunhofer from the RA’s Learning Department.

    ‘Deeds not words’: suffragettes and the Summer Exhibition
    May saw the 100th anniversary of Mary Wood’s attack on Sargent’s portrait of Henry James in the RA Summer Exhibition. Curator Helena Bonett explains how art became a battleground for the suffragette movement in this blog.

    Community Art Club: forging a connection
    Our Community Art Club is one of the ways the RA works with homeless and marginalised people, in our quest to make art accessible for all. Becky Jelly and Anna Nunhofer tell us the inspirational story of the club here – it was subsequently covered by The Guardian and BBC World Service.

    Francis Kéré’s straws travel to Sierra Leone
    Sensing Spaces, one of our most popular exhibitions this year, saw architects from around the world completely transform our Main Galleries into a series of sensory environments that visitors could explore. Many of you loved the interactive nature of Francis Kéré’s room, with its multicoloured straws. This blog follows the journey of the straws after they left the exhibition for a new life in Sierra Leone.

    The RA during the First World War
    August marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Mark Pomeroy delved into the Academy’s archives to tell the fascinating and little-known story of the RA during the war years, including this blog about Red Cross volunteers busily knitting garments out of dog hair in the Main Galleries.