The Royal College of Art has been an institution of excellence since 1837. In the beginning the Government School of Design opened in Somerset House, on the Strand in London. It was the world’s first, publicly funded design school. 175 years later and now known as the Royal College of Art, it is the world’s oldest art and design university in continuous operation. Its first students comprised a small band of teenage boys; today it educates some 1,200 postgraduate students from 55 different countries.
The Perfect Place to Grow: 175 Years of the Royal College of Art provides a fascinating insight into the world’s oldest art and design school in continuous operation, revealing the politics and polemics behind the perennial question of how Britain should train artists and designers, and interrogating the purpose of publicly funded art schools.
The exhibition features more than 350 works by over 180 RCA alumni and faculty and is arranged according to four principal themes: ‘Art and Industry’; ‘Public Purpose’; ‘Personal Expression’; and ‘Political Expression’.
The exhibition will include both student work and later professional achievements by renowned names such as: Gertrude Jekyll, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Hans Coper, Ossie Clark, Bill Gibb, Zandra Rhodes, Sir James Dyson, Eric Parry, David Adjaye, Tord Boontje, Ron Arad, Graphic Thought Facility and Neville Brody from the broad disciplines of Architecture, Applied Art and Design; Lady Elizabeth Butler, Dame Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore OM, David Hockney OM, Bridget Riley, Eduardo Paolozzi, Tracey Emin (whose 2001 work The Perfect Place to Grow, is both exhibited and referenced in the exhibition title), Chris Ofili, George Shaw and Spartacus Chetywnd will be represented from the field of Fine Art in the sections on Personal and Political Expression.
The Perfect Place to Grow: 16 November 2012 – 3 January 2013 (closed 24 & 25 December) 10am – 5.30pm daily, late opening till 8pm on Fridays (except Friday 16 November)
Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU Free admission Further information: www.rca.ac.uk