RA experts: art on paper

Weekend-long art business course

Courses and Classes

  • 17 February 2018, 10am — 5pm
  • 18 February 2018, 10am — 5pm

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Part of our

From Life

events programme
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Academic Programmes at the Royal Academy

Works on paper are a popular category of art which can provide a unique view of history and an insight into the creative process. This course provides a professional perspective on their collection, care and display, now and for future generations.

As a general collecting category, works on paper includes drawings in ink, charcoal, graphite and other materials, as well as paintings in pastel, watercolour, or mixed media collage.

Since the Renaissance, drawings have been valued for their spontaneity and directness, and as records of an artist’s idea being transferred from mind to paper. Historically, drawing was central to artistic training (as reflected in the RA exhibition From Life, which will be visited as part of this course). Drawing remains key to the way most artists work, and can offer fascinating insights into the creative process and methods of artists, which may be less apparent in other media such as painting or sculpture.

People are often confused by the term “print” and the complex techniques by which they are produced. We will consider what separates an “original print” from a reproduction, and look at the different print media used by artists in the past and in today’s digital age, when issues of uniqueness, authority and reproduction are more complex than ever. We will also address questions about the value of multiples, right across the art market.

Prints and drawings are highly valued by collectors, curators and artists for many reasons discussed in detail in this course. For many people, collecting works on paper is an important route into the art market and collecting in general. Many works of art on paper by leading artists and those of significant aesthetic and historic importance are still reasonably priced and more affordable than other media. Works on paper can represent an important investment and either form the core of a collection, or complement works in other media.

However, art on paper is inherently quite fragile, and so an awareness of its physical properties and conservation concerns is crucial to anyone collecting or working with these media. How we present and display art on paper can make a significant difference to how we perceive and appreciate it, as well as to how long it will endure. Mounting, framing, lighting, and storage are of key importance and all will be addressed, taking in both aesthetic and conservation concerns.

A number of themes will be explored in detail:

• Why collect prints and drawings?
• The market for prints and drawings. What to buy and where to buy it.
• What is a “print”, a drawing, and how do they differ from painting?
• Techniques, materials and characteristics of art on paper.
• Conservation principles and how to apply them to your collection.
• Framing, mounting and storage of art on paper.
• How best to exhibit and display your collection of prints and drawings.

As such, this course offers a thorough introduction to collecting, caring for, and displaying works of art on paper.

This course forms part of a wider series of RA Expert courses. Others include:
RA experts: fundraising
RA experts: events

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 17 February 2018, 10am — 5pm
  • 18 February 2018, 10am — 5pm

The Saloon and the Collections Library, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

£360. Includes all materials, light refreshments at the beginning of each day, and a social drinks reception at the end of the first day.

Book now