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The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018 was produced and published by the Paul Mellon Centre. The RA Chronicle is a digital publication that explores the history of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Essays examining key artists, artworks, and events from each individual year’s Exhibition are accompanied by 250 completely digitised and searchable copies of the accompanying Exhibition catalogues. This repository of original research and primary source material is intended to shine new light on British art, its exhibition histories, and its publics, and to encourage further innovative study.

The RA Chronicle was launched on 30 May 2018 to coincide with the 250th anniversary year of the annual exhibition of contemporary art at the Royal Academy, and with the exhibition The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition, which was co-curated by Mark Hallett and Sarah Victoria Turner. 

The RA Chronicle, which was conceived by Mark Hallett, has been developed and produced by a team of Paul Mellon Centre staff, working with many partners, including our authors, designers, and reviewers. It is important for us to acknowledge that a publication of this size and complexity is only possible by working collaboratively. The RA Chronicle entries have been edited by three content specialist editors—Mark Hallett, Sarah Victoria Turner, and Jessica Feather—who each took responsibility for different periods of this 250-year history, as well as writing some entries themselves. The whole project was managed and edited by Baillie Card. Tom Scutt managed the digital infrastructure and conceptualisation of the project, from the digitisation of the Exhibition catalogues through to the website’s publication. Maisoon Rehani managed all of the picture research and copyright clearances.

The RA Chronicle was also peer-reviewed by three specialist readers, each of whom took responsibility for a portion of the chronology matching their expertise. We are deeply grateful to these readers for their advice and critical feedback. Most of the entries were subject to double-blind peer review, while the rest underwent either single-blind review or open review, depending on their unique formats and subject matter.

We welcome feedback, and hope you will send thoughts and questions to:


Scholarly Editors

Mark Hallett
Sarah Victoria Turner
Jessica Feather

Publishing Editor

Baillie Card

Digital Editor

Tom Scutt

Picture Editor

Maisoon Rehani


Tom Powell
Sean Ketteringham
James Finch





User Experience



Thérèse Saba


Jan Worrall


Thank you to Louise Cohen, Maurice Davies, Kate Huckle, Caroline Lamont, Mark Pomeroy, Per Rumberg, David Solkin, Nina Sologubenko, Anna Testar, Peter Thomas, Frances Topp, Adam Waterton, and all of our colleagues at the Paul Mellon Centre who have supported the development of this project.



Alegreya is a typeface originally intended for literature. It conveys a dynamic and varied rhythm which facilitates the reading of long texts. It is used to present articles describing exhibitions from the eighteenth century.


Chap is a mix of the smooth and the sharp, a sans serif with acute contrasts. It is used to present articles describing exhibitions from the twenty-first century.


Exo is a contemporary geometric sans serif typeface that tries to convey a technological/futuristic feeling while keeping an elegant design.

Galaxie Polaris

Galaxie Polaris is contemporary sans serif, with characters composed of modified-geometric curves and arches. It is used to present articles describing exhibitions from the twentieth-century.


Unna has a soft look that is expressed through delicate serifs and strong stems, accentuating the typical neoclassical vertical texture. It is used to present articles describing exhibitions from the nineteenth century.

Citation Information


Hallett, Mark, Sarah Victoria Turner, Jessica Feather, Baillie Card, Tom Scutt, and Maisoon Rehani, eds. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018. London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2018.


Hallett, Mark, et al., editors. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018. Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2018.

Permanent URL

MARC records

We encourage libraries to list this resource in their catalogues. For convenience, MARC records for the publication are available for download:

Published by

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
16 Bedford Square
London, WC1B 3JA


The text of this work and the digital facsimiles of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition catalogues are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).  

Additional images are reproduced with the permission of the rights holders acknowledged in captions, or by virtue of a judicious application of “exceptions to copyright” afforded by UK intellectual property law. These images are expressly excluded from the CC BY-NC 4.0 license covering the rest of this publication. These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted, or manipulated without consent from the owners, who reserve all rights.