Review: Royal Academy Summer Party 2016

One art-related event follows another, and we were especially happy about this invitation – The Royal Academy in London is presenting its legendary Summer Exhibition for the 248th time, and that deserves due celebration. Partially made up of big name artists, the works were selected by a committee and also include pieces taken from its in-house academy.

The 14 rooms are loaded up with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photography, all furnished with numbers and as good as completely available for purchase – and giving the select group of art enthusiasts there on the evening before the official opening the opportunity to have first pick at the favorites. 30% of the sales prices go to the Royal Academy of Art and to keeping its generous scholarship program going, a wonderful idea that deserves to be supported, and has already been unbelievably successful for years.

The evening is divided into two phases. To begin, hundreds of extrovertedly-dressed British guests bustled through quite narrow displays of art in the imposing Academy Hall, held glasses of champagne in hand at the bar or at oyster and seafood-loaded food stands, or discreetly tapped their feet to loud music by Charli XCX. At 9pm, things moved down to the basement for an intimate and casually set dinner. We sat with Erdem Moralioğlu, Anya Hindmarch, and Jeremy Langmead from Mr Porter at a dimly lit table and were spoiled with fried chicken and an ice cream sundae.

Who bought what? Who saw who? (There were two editions of 100 copies by Tracey Emin, each for 1100 GBP and titled Grand Hotel I and Grand Hotel II, and Wolfgang Tillmans was represented with two editions of three copies, titled Lignin Duress I and Lignin Duress II, both on sale for 20,000 GBP each). We plodded back to our hotel in our evening dresses tipsily and relatively early and think, that’s how it works with the British. What a warm and wonderful evening. Thank you for having us!

The Summer Exhibition is running until the 21st of August 2016

Translation: Melissa Frost

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.