John Gibson RA: A British Sculptor in Rome
Royal Academy of Arts, Tennant Gallery and Council Room
8 September – 18 December 2016
John Gibson RA: A British Sculptor in Rome will present over 30 rarely-exhibited works by the neoclassical artist John Gibson RA (1790-1866) who, during his lifetime, was one of Britain’s leading sculptors. On display will be marble sculptures, plaster casts, plaster reliefs and drawings that were shown in Gibson’s studio during the height of his career. Despite the artist’s prominence at the time, he is little-known today. To coincide with the 150th anniversary of Gibson’s death, the exhibition will highlight a selection of artworks from his significant bequest to the Royal Academy of Arts. John Gibson RA: A British Sculptor in Rome will be the first exhibition to focus solely on Gibson’s output, tracing his journey to becoming one of the best-known sculptors of his day. Highlights of the exhibition will include the large-scale marble sculpture Narcissus; plaster casts such as Hero and Leander and marble reliefs and drawings telling the story of Cupid and Psyche. The exhibition will also include preparatory drawings from Gibson’s studio as well as archival material, all of which were bequeathed to the Royal Academy in 1866 by the artist. Further works by Gibson from his bequest to the Royal Academy can be seen on permanent display at Bodelwyddan Castle, Denbighshire, Wales.
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication John Gibson RA: The British Canova, which features essays by Dr Anna Frasca-Rath, co-curator of the exhibition and a lecturer at the University of Vienna, and Annette Wickham, Curator of Works on Paper at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Notes to editors
Publication date: September 2016
Extent: 72 pages, Illustrations, 50 in colour Binding: Paperback
Curator’s Collection Talk
Friday 9 September
Join us at this Curator’s Collection Talk where co-curator Dr Anna Frasca-Rath introduces John Gibson RA: A British Sculptor in Rome. Dr Anna Frasca-Rath is also a lecturer at the University of Vienna where she completed a PhD on the life and work of John Gibson. Meet in the Tennant Gallery; 2.30–3.00pm; Free with an exhibition ticket (no booking required)
Curator’s Collection Talk
Friday 4 November
Annette Wickham, Curator of Works on Paper at the RA, introduces John Gibson RA: A British Sculptor in Rome, the first temporary exhibition to focus on this artist. This Curator’s Collection Talk will explore the story behind Gibson’s studio – which became a tourist attraction for visitors to Rome – and the transfer of its legacy to the Royal Academy.
Meet in the Tennant Gallery; 2.30–3.00pm; Free with an exhibition ticket (no booking required)
The Tennant Gallery and Council Roomup
Dates and Opening Hours
Exhibition open to the public: 8 September – 18 December 2016 Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm Closed Monday
Complimentary entry with a valid Royal Academy exhibition ticket or £3 General Admission ticket. Friends of the RA and Under 16s go free.
Publicity images for John Gibson: A British Sculptor in Rome can be obtained from Picselect, the Press Association’s image service for press use. Please register at www.picselect.com and once registered go to the Royal Academy folder in the Arts section of Picselect.
Join the discussion about the exhibition online at: Facebook /royalacademy
About the Tennant Gallery
Located on the north side of Burlington House, the Tennant Gallery is a dedicated space within the Royal Academy for the display of works on paper, for which light levels must be carefully controlled. A changing programme of displays drawn from the Royal Academy Collections and the work of Royal Academicians runs throughout the year.
About the Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.