Online Shopping: closed now, back soon

The safety of our visitors, friends and all who work with us at the RA is our highest priority. In line with the advice from Public Health England, the RA is closed temporarily; we have now taken the further decision to close our online shop in the short term, and to minimise non-essential activity.

We will be in touch once online shopping is available again, and are using the opportunity to improve the site and online experience we offer: we promise it will be better than ever! Meanwhile, if you have a query about an existing order, please contact us.

Whilst the front doors of the RA are closed, and for the time being the online shop, we will continue to offer creative inspiration to enjoy from home, and new ways of connecting. Visit us at Royal Academy of Arts, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Sign up to receive RA emails and find out once the online shop is open.

Thank you for your continued support. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to the online shop and in person again soon.

Wishing you all the very best,
The Royal Academy of Arts Team

The Great Spectacle - 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition

A captivating journey through 250 years of the shifting styles of the world’s longest running annual art exhibition.

Illustrated with works by many of the great names of British art including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Turner, Constable, Hockney and Emin.

WAS £21.95, THEN £12, NOW £3

- +
Add to gift list
In stock

More details

Dimensions 26.5 x 23cm
Fabric & material Paperback
No. of Pages 224
SKU 02086852

Delivery & returns information

Service Update (updated 19 March 2020)

We want to make sure your order reaches you as safely as possible. Therefore, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, all orders will be dispatched once the RA has reopened. We will be in touch once the RA has reopened and once your order has been dispatched. 

During this period our Returns Policy will be extended. For any order queries, please Contact Us

Free UK delivery on orders £50 and over

International delivery is based on weight and delivery country, and will be calculated at Checkout

Product story

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is one of the largest and world’s longest-running annual display of contemporary art. Ever since 1769 the Academy’s exhibition rooms have been packed for some two months each year with thousands of paintings and sculptures by a multitude of leading artists.These ground-breaking spectacles have provided artists with essential competition, inspiration and publicity, capturing the hearts and minds of millions of visitors.

This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey telling the story of these exhibitions. Many cherished works of British art were first shown on the walls of the RA: portraits by Reynolds and Gainsborough, the expansive landscapes of Turner and Constable, and the Pre-Raphaelites, who caused such critical and cultural impact. Chapters on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries look at the RA’s relationship with British modernism, and explore the many changes that have taken place in Summer Exhibitions of recent decades.

Professor Mark Hallett is Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and author of Reynolds, Portraiture in Action (2014). Dr Sarah Victoria Turner is Assistant Director for Research at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Dr Jessica Feather is an Allen Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.