The RA Annual Dinner feels like walking into a fairytale banquet: men wear white tie and medals, ladies wear evening gowns with glittering jewels, trumpeters play a fanfare into dinner and the British arts establishment sups surrounded by the paintings of the Summer Exhibition and the historic silver that has been donated by Royal Academicians since the RA was founded in 1768.
But what makes this occasion special instead of staid is the people: this is a party thrown by artists, who bring flair and fun and invite the great, the good and the glam from all walks of life to share in their enthusiasm for art.
The Annual Dinner speech was delivered by Lord Justice Sir Alan Moses, an honorary fellow of the RA and a long-time admirer of the Academy and the arts. His bravura performance and his sense of humour kept people entertained as he pondered the epic and astonishing survival‚ of the Royal Academy for 244 years and suggested that the argumentative nature of the Academicians might have something to do with it: 'It is the clash of strongly held but diametrically opposed beliefs that provide the leitmotif of the history of your Academy and makes your collegiate unity all the more remarkable'.
Listen to his entire speech below:
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