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William Shipley while living in Northampton first envisaged the establishment of a Society for the encouragement of arts, manufacture and commerce. Shipley’s vision was simple; he believed that industry should be stimulated by means of prizes drawn from a fund contributed to by public-spirited people. In 1753 Shipley left Northampton for London and in June of that year made public his proposals for a new Society.
oil on canvas
72.5 x 59.5 cm
presented by the artist through the intervention of Caleb Whiteford, Vice-President of the RSA, 1785