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In line with government guidance, the Royal Academy of Arts is now closed. We will reopen as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted. Please contact us with your ticket enquiries.

Why collect?


13 May — 5 June 2020

This event has now ended

See upcoming festivals

Part of our

Gauguin and the Impressionists

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Valeria Napoleone

Sculpture in front: Nicole Wermers, Kusine, 2005, Steel and Paint, 300 x 20 x 20 cm, on the wall behind Valeria: Aliza Nisenbaum, Las Talaveritas, 2015, Oil on linen, 162.6 x 144.8 cm; on the left: Aliza Nisenbaum, The Nap, 2015, oil on linen, 81.3 x 66cm

Photo by Mathilde Agius

Join us to hear current art collectors offer a rare insight into their collections and to learn what motivates individuals to collect art today.

In this series of events including in conversations, talks and a film screening, we ask: Why collect? What opportunities are contemporary collectors presented with today? How does chance affect collecting? Is the purpose of collecting to provide a legacy for family and the wider public? Or is it to join a community and build a friendship? How easily can collecting become a compulsion or necessity?

Wilhem Hansen’s Ordrupgaard collection, currently on display in our exhibition Gauguin and the impressionists, showcases one of the greatest collections of Impressionist works in northern Europe. Hansen was passionate about art and seized an opportunity to collect Impressionist masterpieces in the early decades of the 20th century. We use the Ordrupgaard collection as a springboard for our events as we uncover the often unexpected and surprising impulses behind contemporary collecting today.

Final event to be announced.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

13 May — 5 June 2020

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

Various events, booking required