The Royal Academy Summer Art Exhibition
When the Royal Academy of Art was established, it was done so with the express intent and purpose of providing contemporary artists not only access to a classical art education, but also the means and location from which to market their art. Subsequently, the tradition of the Summer Exhibition was born.
The Exhibitions began in 1769 and served to serve not just artists of renown, but also all artists who could show merit in their fields. The show is open to all submission and is juried annually by well-known artists who lend their time and expertise to the venture. Approximately 5000 artists enter their work, with a total of nearly 10,000 total pieces to be reviewed and juried. Of these, about a thousand pieces make it into the final showing. Any artist living, dead, known and unknown are welcome to enter work for the show. And due to these liberal allowances, the number of entries have skyrocketed, prompting the Academy to reduce the number of allowable entries from 3 to 2 and increasing the entry fees to 25 per selection.
Since the Academy receives no support from the state or crown, they rely instead on donation from patrons and former students. Additionally the Academy collects fees from the entry and sale of the pieces shown each summer. In 2003, the Academy enjoyed nearly 3,000,000 in sales. Considering that they receive 30% of the total sales, it is evident that the sales are a perpetual success.
Visitors to London, particularly those who appreciate the arts, generally stay in hotels in Mayfair for easy access to the variety of prestigious museums, and high end shopping and dining. All London hotels in the Mayfair district are virtually guaranteed to cater to the well-heeled tourist seeking only the best London has to offer. The district is definitely not one for the budget minded.