5 APRIL 1963, Page 15

ROYAL ACADEMY 'DILEMMA' SIR,—Mr Nevile Wallis points out, quite correctly,

t,11, at the main function of the Royal Academy is 01°_e instruction of students in its schools (where ofver 6.500 artists have been trained without payment Proportion any foes). He could have emphasised the high ri:portion of teachers among the present Aca- t.,,,rn,lians and Associates. At least twenty have 7,ugot at one time or another at the Royal College ZdArt and many others at the Slade, Camberwell OW els!wbere, apart from the Royal Academy's sea-re scuools. This means that the Members are role.elY likely to neglect the Academy's historic Ael‘lacire. Wallis also points out the irony that some deba mY students, past and present, are being hired by certain West End galleries from ex- wog with their parent institution. But in sug- sgoesinti.n_g that this is a 'dilemma' of which the only gu'ull Is the abandonment by the Academy of a - Maier Exhibition Mr. Wallis neglects far wider IMPlications. That there is a need for one large

annual exhibition, open to artists of every kind and free from 'officialdom and dpalerdom' (to use Mr. Wallis's phrase), is stressed by the contributions of so many artists (about 4,000 submit each year), the volume of the sales (more than three times the pre-war figures in numbers and value) and the support of the public. If the Royal Academy were to betray its responsibility to artists generally, and to abandon the Summer Exhibition, is it not certain that artists would quickly join together in organising another large exhibition on similar lines?

The 'dilemma,' in fact, is for the critic and not for the Academy.

HUMPHREY BROOKE Secretary Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, WI