19 APRIL 1963, Page 15


SIR,—It is quite unrealistic of Mr. Nevile Wallis to suppose that the London Group, the New English and the various other 'independent alliances' could compensate artists for the abandonment of the Academy's Summer Exhibition. If he really believes this he should inquire into the comparative figures for attendances and sales.

A glance at the recent report of the Arts Council should also have warned Mr. Wallis against the assumption that 'contemporary enterprises' in Lon- don are necessarily rewarding. Our own recent 'Art: USA : Now' exhibition drew only 16,000 visitors to the Main Gallery in more than a month, compared with 12,000 visitors during the first week of its next showing in Athens. The smaller exhibitions organised by both the Arts Council and the Royal Academy currently average attendances of about 10,000. This is not sufficient to meet their costs. As to the countenancing of `amateurism,' the Royal Academy believes in the free expression of art from any human source. So far, the work of apes has not been shown at Burlington House. HUMPHREY BROOKE Secretary Royal Academy of Arts. Piccadilly, WI