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175 years of the RCA

The Royal College of Art has already had a rather busy 175th year, with the official opening of the Dyson Building in Battersea and plans coming together for Neville Brody’s rebrand of the RCA, which is set to launch next year.

Horrorball poster, Royal College of Art Christmas Poster 1967, by Trevor Hodgson

Source: Michele Jannuzzi

Horrorball poster, Royal College of Art Christmas Poster 1967, by Trevor Hodgson

And now, to commemorate its 175th anniversary in more traditional style, the RCA is holding an exhibition of work by staff and alumni from throughout its existence.

Festival of Britain Transport Information Artwork, by Abram Games, 1951

Source: TfL

Festival of Britain Transport Information Artwork, by Abram Games, 1951

The Perfect Place to Grow: 175 Years of the Royal College of Art, will feature work from (deep breath…) Sir Edwyn Lutyens, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Ossie Clark, and more contemporary figures such as Sir James Dyson, Tord Boontje, Ron Arad and Graphic Thought Facility.

Ark, Journal of the Royal College of Art, Punk Issue, 1978. Cover design by Lawrence Mynott

Source: Royal College of Art archive

Ark, Journal of the Royal College of Art, Punk Issue, 1978. Cover design by Lawrence Mynott

The show, co-curated by RCA rector Paul Thompson and Robert Upstone of the Fine Art Society, will be split into four main themes: Art and Industry, Public Purpose, Personal Expression and Political Expression.

Underground roundel from Westminster Station, c.1930. By Edward Johnston

Source: TfL

Underground roundel from Westminster Station, c.1930. By Edward Johnston

Each of these sections will grapple with a particular conundrum or address an issue, so Art and Industry will look at the debate over design’s contribution to British industry, Public Purpose will examine the RCA’s role in transforming Britain’s health, transport and built environment, Political Expression will look at artists and designers whose work is aligned to a particular cause, and Personal Expression will look at the concept of fine art as an act of personal creative expression.

F978 Chair, by Geoffrey D. Harcourt, 1968

Source: Artifort

F978 Chair, by Geoffrey D. Harcourt, 1968

The Perfect Place to Go: 175 Years of the Royal College of Art, is at the RCA, Kensington Gore, London SW7, from 16 November-3 January 2013.

Rover Chair, 1981, by Ron Arad

Source: Ron Arad Associates

Rover Chair, 1981, by Ron Arad

Rolling Stones logo, by John Pasche, 1971

Source: John Pasche

Rolling Stones logo, by John Pasche, 1971

Dany Bubbles, by Ian Dury, 1966

Source: Estate of the artist

Dany Bubbles, by Ian Dury, 1966

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