That long history, as well as its present and some major new developments for its future will be celebrated at the society’s Bankside Gallery in Southwark, under the title Be Part of Art.
In 2015 property developers Hobhouse SA approached the RWS to offer occupancy of a gallery space in Whitcomb Street near Trafalgar Square. The society is now fundraising for renovation works to this space which will complement its existing Bankside Gallery.
It will be used to showcase its work, provide educational activities and store its archive and diploma collection of artworks and documents (almost every member of the society has contributed an artwork since the RWS voted to start a diploma collection in 1860).
The Be Part of Art exhibition, running from January 30-February 3, is made up of a selection of around 15 pieces from the archive and diploma collection comprising paintings by past members, documents, photographs and related ephemera.
In tandem with this display are two fundraising events for the Whitcomb Street project.
One is a secret postcard sale of featuring over 100 specially commissioned small-scale works by current RWS members and invited artists which are priced at £60 each.
The other display is the viewing for an online auction of works by contemporary members of the society.
The postcard sale and the auction will both be launched at the exhibition’s reception on January 29 and will run throughout the course of the show until February 3.
The auction can also be viewed online via the RWS exhibition’s page.