HC Deb 17 July 1873 vol 217 cc493-4

asked the First Commissioner of Works, If he can explain what prevents the President and Members of the Royal Academy from giving access at Burlington House to the works of sculpture and models of the late John Gibson, R.A., bequeathed to them by him seven years ago, together with a legacy of more than £40,000 to provide a Gallery for them; and when it is likely that they will be exhibited to the public, in accordance with the intention of the donor?


in reply, said, that it was perfectly true that seven years had elapsed since the death of Mr. Gibson, R.A., and since his bequest of his works of sculpture and models to the public; but no blame whatever attached to the Royal Academy for their not being yet in a position to exhibit them in a Gallery specially devoted to the purpose, because the Royal Academy, several years ago, entered into arrangements with the Office of Works, by which they were to construct a Gallery at Burlington House as soon as they were put in possession of the building. It was at that time occupied by several learned Societies. The Royal Academy, however, instead of waiting for that event, had, at considerable expense, carried on the construction of a Gallery—though it had not yet been completed. They would not, in fact be able to complete the Gallery until they had been put into entire possession of the building, as it would be necessary that they should construct a staircase in the building to reach the Gallery, and they would not be put into entire possession until the learned Societies had transferred themselves to their new apartments. This, he believed, would happen in September next, and six months would be required to make the necessary arrangements, so that the Royal Academy would be able to exhibit the sculpture and models when they opened their exhibition in May next. They had, however, in the meantime, shown some of the works of art.

Back to