An exhibition exploring the tension between the establishment and the avant-garde as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations for the Royal Academy.
As a collector, Merton Russell-Cotes understood the value of the Royal Academy, assured of the quality of the artists it endorsed, and enjoying privileged access to an elite social world.
However, he was not blind to its limitations or unafraid to follow his own tastes where they differed from the institution’s. The exclusion of women and Pre-Raphaelites from membership was no bar to him acquiring the works of artists he admired.
This exhibition invites you to consider the collections in the light of these conflicting choices.
Making and Breaking the Rules is part of RA250, supported by Art Fund.