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Friends preview – ‘The Great Spectacle’


  • 9 June 2018, 10am — 10pm
  • 10 June 2018, 10am — 6pm
  • 11 June 2018, 10am — 6pm
This event has now ended

See upcoming previews

Part of our

The Great Spectacle

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Join us for an exclusive preview of the ‘The Great Spectacle’ before it opens to the public.

Held without interruption since 1769, the Summer Exhibition has crowded the Academy’s galleries with hundreds of paintings and sculptures by many of Britain’s leading artists every summer for almost 250 years.

The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition tells the story of past exhibitions and, in doing so, offers an innovative, illuminating and visually stunning celebration of exhibitions passed, demonstrating their impact on art both in Britain and internationally.

Staged to coincide with the Summer Exhibition 2018, and taking the form of a sequence of interlinked gallery displays that will recreate a series of important moments in the history of the Academy and its shows, The Great Spectacle will dramatise the excitement, variety and richness of the Summer Exhibition.

Journey from old masters including Constable, Turner and Reynolds to modern giants David Hockney and Wolfgang Tillmans.

As we open our doors for the 250th annual Summer Exhibition this June, discover the journey of this remarkable show away from the crowds, three days before it opens to the public in our exclusive Friends preview.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 9 June 2018, 10am — 10pm
  • 10 June 2018, 10am — 6pm
  • 11 June 2018, 10am — 6pm

The John Madejski Fine Rooms, Weston Rooms and Galleries I and II, Burlington House

Free. Friends of the RA and members of the Academicians' Room only.