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Friends previews: ‘Oceania’


  • 26 September 2018, 10am — 10pm
  • 27 September 2018, 10am — 6pm
  • 28 September 2018, 10am — 6pm
This event has now ended

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We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of our ‘Oceania’ exhibition before it opens to the public.

Marking 250 years since Cook’s voyage to the South Pacific, we celebrate the dazzling and diverse art of the region of Oceania, from the historic to the contemporary. Join us for an exclusive preview of the exhibition, three days before it opens to the public.

The year is 1768, and Britain is in the throes of the Age of Enlightenment. As a group of artists agrees to found the Royal Academy, Captain James Cook sets sail on a voyage of discovery in search of terra australis incognita – the unknown southern continent, as Europeans called it. What Cook and his crew encounter on arrival is a vast number of island civilisations covering almost a third of the world’s surface: from Tahiti in Polynesia, to the scattered archipelagos and islands of Melanesia and Micronesia.

The indigenous populations they met came with their own histories of inter-island trade, ocean navigation, and social and artistic traditions. This spectacular exhibition will reveal these narratives – celebrating the original, raw and powerful art that in time would resonate across the European artistic sphere.

Through around 200 compelling works ranging from shell, greenstone and ceramic ornaments, to huge canoes and dazzling house facades, we explore important themes of voyaging, place making and encounter. The exhibition draws from rich historic ethnographic collections dating from the 18th century to the present, spanning treasures from the ancient past through to contemporary work by artists such as Lisa Reihana, a contemporary artist of Maori and British descent from New Zealand.

This event is open to Friends of the RA, RA250 Friends and RA250 Supporters and members of the Academicians’ Room only.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 26 September 2018, 10am — 10pm
  • 27 September 2018, 10am — 6pm
  • 28 September 2018, 10am — 6pm

Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

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