On Tuesday night, members of royalty and artists alike joined forces to celebrate the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition at its annual party. While the academy — which has held an open submission exhibition every year since 1769 — boasts Reynolds as its first ever president — and founder members included Gainsborough and Zoffany, the preview bash married tradition with novelty.
As a selection of English lovelies including Princess Eugenie, Erin O’Connor, Bella Freud, Cressida Bonas chowed down on Hebridean lobster and Welsh beef, newly-wed Tracey Emin arrived solo at the do. Although Emin recently married an ancient rock that she met in France, the stone appeared to be left at home for the night as she admired the the art alongside the likes of Jay Jopling and David Bailey.
Grayson Perry — perhaps the natural successor to Hogarth — offered a contemporary influence on the society bash — resplendent in a cartoon miniskirt and patent pink platforms. Meanwhile an international element added a dash of piquancy: Olga Kurylenko, Erdem Moralioglu and Wolfgang Tilmans represented the global art pack. Israeli artist Ron Arad’s Spyre loomed over the whole evening; proof that Mayfair’s hallowed hub of heritage may be, at last, looking outwards.
Here are a selection of photos from the event, courtesy of Darren Gerrish: