Latest coup to open new multimillion dollar space

Latest coup to open new multimillion dollar spacePhoto credit: John William Waterhouse, R.A., A Mermaid, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Photographer: John Hammond 

Entitled Ambition and Genius, the exhibition hosted by Bendigo Art Gallery details highlights from the Academy’s prestigious collection, and will see approximately 100 works featured from various artistic powerhouses such as John William Waterhouse, Thomas Gainsborough and Henry Fuseli.

Reputed as one of the leading institutions of western art from the 18th century, the exhibition will offer audiences a rare glimpse into the works that made the academy a household name. With a focus on key periods of the institution’s history from 1768 to 1918, the showcase coincides with the unveiling of the Gallery’s $7.55 million redevelopment plan.

Director Karen Quinlan said the partnership with Royal Academy was an astonishing coup by the Bendigo Art Gallery, their strong efforts to obtain the exhibition paying off with talks of a tour in Japan already been underway.

‘This extraordinary collaboration between Bendigo Art Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts will provide audiences with an unprecedented opportunity to view works that tell the story of the institution’s influential role since 1768,’ Ms Quinlan said.

Works in the gallery include a pre-Raphaelite painting by John William Waterhouse’s entitled A Mermaid (1900- ), and several paintings from renowned artist John Constable.

Another exhibition, Australians at the Royal Academy, will also premiere alongside the collection, recognising the contributions of Australian artists who significantly shaped the Royal Academy’s 245 year long history. 30 works by Australian artists such as Tom Roberts, Rupert Bunny and Margaret Preston, all of whom were educated by the institution will be included.

Established in 1768, the Royal Academy has been considered a primary art institution for the study and practice of all artistic mediums. A leading venue for the display of art in Great Britain and Europe, the institution has continued to inspire artists and arts lovers throughout the world.

The exhibition will commence in March 2014.


Aleczander Bryan Gamboa is a Melbourne writer.


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