Throughout our long history, the Royal Scottish Academy has honoured its recently deceased Academicians with a memorial selection in the Annual Exhibition. In 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic impacted upon all of our daily lives, our Annual Exhibition – the ‘yearbook’ of the Academy – found itself in a very unusual position. In an unbroken line since 1826, this show has been a mainstay of the exhibition calendar in Scotland. The closure of the Academy didn’t halt us though and the exhibition moved online for both 2020 and 2021. We look forward to it returning to the galleries in 2022 where it will continue to be accompanied by its online version.
The move online brought significant benefits in that it could reach a wider, and international, audience. The artists and their studios could be further explored and there was a greater opportunity for a far-flung audience to take part in events. We found, however, that this was not the platform to best honour our Academicians with memorial presentations.
So, today we celebrate the careers of a selection of five Academicians whom we have lost over the past 20 months. All are men and all are painters who have spent their working lives as artists and as educators.
Filmed and edited by Mario Cruzado.