Charles Saumarez Smith

The Royal Academy in Burlington Gardens

The opening of the Royal Academy’s new building will give it back its original intellectual intent, as a place of thinking about art as well as exhibiting it

Traveller, Gossip, Gardener and Wit

Roy Strong's diaries reveal an odd but witty and engaging character moving amidst high society

The Sacred And The Secular In Contemporary Art

"Can we understand public artistic experience by considering it analogous to going to church: the search for the sacred; for the questioning of the meaning of existence?"

The True Origins of the Royal Academy

The august institution was formed in the space of just ten days in late 1768 — and was born of a fierce professional rivalry

Civilising Servants

Art had hitherto been a free market, subject to the vagaries of public taste and the whims of private patronage. Then in the 1830s and 1840s parliament energetically went about bringing order, system and supervision to the realm of art. The question is: why?

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"