Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Royal Academy of Arts, London | Complete Exhibition Catalogues Online
The Royal Academy Winter Loan Exhibition catalogues from their inception in 1870 to 1939 have been digitized in their entirety and are now available to search and browse online via the Royal Academy website.
From their inception in 1870 through to the outbreak of the First World War the format of the RA Winter exhibitions remained fairly constant; generally consisting of Old Master paintings borrowed from private collections accompanied by works by recently deceased British artists. From 1920 onwards the exhibitions program began to evolve and the RA started to organize major art historical survey exhibitions drawing upon expert scholarship such as Flemish & Belgian Art 1300-1900 (1927), Italian Art 1200-1900 (1930) and French Art 1200-1900 (1932). In addition, for the first time, supplementary illustrated catalogues began to be published, in tandem with the traditional un-illustrated `lists of works`. As well as including reproductions of c.3000 of the works shown in the exhibitions, these illustrated catalogues included introductory essays by renowned art historians such as Sir James G. Mann (1897-1962), Sir Robert Witt (1872-1952) and Adolfo Venturi (1856-1941). These catalogues are now available to browse and search online via the Royal Academy website.
Many of the works lent to these exhibitions now reside in major museum and gallery collections such as Tate, National Gallery of Ireland, Yale Center for British Art, Wallace Collection, etc. Thumbnail image of many of these works have been included, with embedded hotlinks to take the researcher to the pages on the owner institutions website where larger images and more information can be found. A selection of installation photographs from the RA’s Photo Archive which show how the exhibitions were displayed have also been digitized and included in the archive.
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