Origins of modernism: the royal academy and the grosvenor gallery

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Compare and contrast the role and reputation of the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery within the Victorian art world.

The Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery were two major institutions of art display of the Victorian era. Their aim were both to display work of art to the public, but their different functioning pulled them apart to each other. What were their policies and rules? Whataudience did they intend to attract? Being a museum or a gallery did necessary had to make them be so different? Throughout this essay I will explore theses multiple differences (and sometimes similarities) in terms of functioning, social aim and institution themselves.

In the Victorian era, the emergence of museums and galleries was a key factor of this period. There was an intense desire ofeducating the population of Britain by initiating them through the art. However each institution was in some ways, different in terms of functioning. First difference is the name in itself: what makes a museum be different from a gallery? In fact not much really except that a museum is a public place often loaned by the government and a gallery is hold by a private owner. After come differencesin terms of size of the place, the selling policies and type of audience. This is why it makes the Royal Academy be different from the Grosvenor Gallery. Before I start developing theses points, lets explore another major difference, which is that the Royal Academy has been created one decade before the Grosvenor Gallery. The Royal Academy was founded the 10th December 1768. It then became theoldest established society in Britain, exclusively devoted to fine arts. This devotion was a response to the need for the creation of a school to train students in the Fine Arts in the 18th century. One hundred and nine years later, in 1877, arrived the Grosvenor Gallery. Not to say that the Royal Academy already had a consequent past and experience from then. Although the subject is about the twoinstitutions within the Victorian period, it is easy then to say that the Grosvenor Gallery was very innovative in various ways but think about the Royal Academy in the 18th century; it also was a huge event. One of the first schools to train artists, with no tuition fees, and exhibits work of living artists, as well as administrating charitable trust to help the distressed artists and theirdependants. It was a real new facility for British artists to show examples of their work in public exhibition and sell them. But the Grosvenor Gallery, as well as taking the inspiration from the Royal Academy, managed to go further than what had been already achieved. The aim was not to be an art institution in itself; it also was to create a sense of being a microcosm of art of the period as well asturning it in a centre of social place and events. It was constantly surpassing the conventions of the Royal Academy. Mr and Mrs Lindsay created The Grosvenor Gallery and chose a very strategic place for the gallery, which is in New Bon Street, heart of market district (fig.1 and 2).
It was ideally situated to participate in the forces of contemporary taste and culture as well as standing not farfrom the Royal Academy, which had just moved in the Burlington House (fig.3 and 4).
The Grosvenor Gallery quickly entered in a competition with the Royal Academy. Obviously the readings about each institution take the side of the one they are presenting and show most of their qualities without having a very critical opinion but we can observe some similarities as well as differences and then beable to interpret each one’s progress. The Royal Academy, by the second half of the 19th century, had already built its reputation of being the elite in terms of art school and a place of honour where artists would be selected to exhibit their works. Selection was the term of this institution. Artists who wanted to have the chance to show and sell their work there had to come and present their...
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