The 175 Years of the Royal College of Art Exhibition has been running from 16th November 2012 and stays open until 3rd January 2013. From David Hockney to James Dyson, some of the world’s best-known artists and designers have studied or taught at the Royal College of Art (RCA), now is your chance to see it.
Filling the RCA's large ground-floor galleries next door to the Royal Albert Hall, the exhibition features work by famous alumni including Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Bridget Riley, David Hockney, Tracey Emin, Chris Ofili, Zandra Rhodes, James Dyson.
This spectacular show aims to demonstrate the impact the school's alumni have on our visual and industrial culture. It also hopes to chart the history of an institute that actually originated as the publicly funded Government School of Design in 1837 with the sole aim of teaching teenage boys to design for industry. Since then, it has allowed fine art (and women) on to campus, and has been turning out an impressive number of accomplished product, graphic, vehicle and textile designers, as well as architects and artists.
This breadth of talent means the show's curators have plenty of work to choose from. Pieces by early graduates - including a painting by suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst who was jailed midway through her decorative painting course - will be featured.There'll be paintings by Blockhead honcho Ian Dury, as well as iconic fashion by Philip Treacy and Christopher Bailey, plus influential design by Thomas Heatherwick and former Royal College of Art tutor Ron Arad.
From just this brief selection, it's obvious that the RCA has an extraordinary knack of its own: for nurturing cross-disciplinary talent - the type of creative who can breathe art into industrial design, and purpose into art.