Royal Academy gives Queen 97 artworks as Diamond Jubilee gift

Posted filed underContemporary Art, England, News.

The Queen Andy Warhol / The Royal Collection
The Queen is said to be “delighted” with the portfolio of works on paper by members of the Royal Academy of Arts, which includes drawings, prints, photographs, watercolours and engravings.

The Academy issued an open invitation to Academicians to contribute a Jubilee gift, and the result was 97 works by 93 artists as diverse as Grayson Perry, Anish Kapoor and Cornelia Parker.

All of the works will go on public display at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace as part of a wider exhibition next year.

Martin Clayton, who will curate the exhibition, said: “This is one of the most exciting things that has happened in the Royal Collection in recent years.

“We have one of the most important collections of drawings in the world but this adds a new dimension to it because we weren’t very strong in contemporary works.

“It’s a really transformative gift, something entirely new to us, and it allows us to do something we haven’t done before.

“The Queen has seen photographs of all of the works and she is delighted.”

The collection includes a line drawing of the Queen by Emin, called HRH Royal Britannia, a drawing of the interior of Westminster Abbey by the sculptor John Maine, and an inkjet print of a drawing which Hockney did on an iPad.

They range in size from Gillian Ayres’ Festive I, which is 32 inches (81cm) across, to a four-inch (10cm) wood engraving of the Olympic Stadium by Anne Desmet.

Asked if he had a favourite, Mr Clayton said: “The one that everyone swoons over is the Anish Kapoor because it’s so, so beautiful.”

He said it was impossible to say how much the collection is worth, though it would run into many millions of pounds.

The collection includes works by 36 painters, 23 sculptors, 19 architects, six engravers, six print makers and one draughtsman.

Charles Saumarez Smith, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, said: “We are proud of our royal heritage and feel privileged to be able to mark this historic occasion.”

The Queen, who is the Patron of the Royal Academy, was given a portfolio of works to mark her Coronation in 1953 and to mark her Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The Genius of Castiglione and The Royal Academy Diamond Jubilee Gift will be at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, from November 1, 2013 to March 16, 2014.

Sources: BBC / The Telegraph
Image by Andy Warhol / The Royal Collection