Making and Breaking the Rules: Royal Academy 250 at the Russell-Cotes

Event Date: 5 May - 14 October 2018

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum has a major new exhibition celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts. The exhibition examines the tension between the establishment and the avant-garde as seen through the collections of the Russell-Cotes.

Founder, Sir Merton Russell-Cotes gloried in the prestige and status of the Royal Academy and the entree it provided into its elite social world. When buying work he used it as a brand and guarantee of quality and value. But he also recognised its limitations and saw that many renowned artists – whether women or Pre-Raphaelites – were excluded from its membership, and made his own choices.

This exhibition looks at the choices made and asks visitors, collectors, curators, as well as contemporary Royal Academicians, how to tread the path between establishment and the art that breaks the rules.

An accompanying catalogue will also be available to purchase, made possible by the Art Fund in partnership with RA250 UK.

Tuesday - Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays: 10am - 5pm

Entry fees apply


  • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
  • East Cliff Promenade
  • Bournemouth
  • BH1 3AA