The Magic of a Line: Drawings by Dame Laura Knight RA
Until 31 October 2008
In the Library Print Room
Comprising 19 drawings by Dame Laura Knight RA (1877-1970) alongside a selection of the artist’s sketchbooks, this display represents the culmination of a project to catalogue a sizeable collection of her work that is held at the Royal Academy.
Dame Laura Knight RA (1877-1970), Study of a ballerina with dresser. Black crayon on cream paper, probably 1920s
© Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2008. All Rights Reserved. Photograph: Royal Academy of Arts/Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
In 1936, Knight was the first woman to be elected to full membership of the Royal Academy since its foundation in 1768. By then she had already produced the images of circus clowns and ballerinas which brought her world-wide recognition and secured her a Damehood.
The collection of Knight's work at the Royal Academy includes many examples of her ballet sketches and this display features several striking drawings of dancers, three of which relate to studies Knight made of the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova during the early 1920s. A number of drawings and sketchbooks relating to Knight’s circus work include studies for the famous Clarice Cliff ‘Circus’ dinner service. Knight’s early Cornish period and later career are also represented in the display. Among these works is The Pool, an oil painting that was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1959 and which has been conserved and framed especially for this display.
10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm Tuesday to Friday
Closed Saturday to Monday
- The Magic of a Line is timed to coincide with a fascinating exhibition of Laura Knight's work at the theatre currently showing at the Castle Museum and Art Gallery in Nottingham, Laura Knight at the Theatre, paintings and drawings of the ballet and the stage, until 28 September 2008. Read more about this exhibition.