The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) is an independently funded organisation, and therefore receives no funding from national or local government. The collection of the Royal Scottish Academy is a private one amassed by the RSA since its beginnings in 1826. It is indeed noted as a Collection of National Significance but at no point has it ever been a public collection.
To this end, the Audubon work Wild Turkey Cock, Hen and Young was gifted to the RSA by the artist and, in donating to this private collection it was not left to the nation.
The painting The Hawker's Cart by LS Lowry had been in the collection of the Royal Scottish Academy since it was purchased by the RSA directly from the artist in 1934. The academy recognised Lowry's talent in his early career, some 20 years before he was recognised as a Royal Academician in London.
The sale of this work will enable the academy to purchase works by Scottish artists who had been RSA members but had not lodged a diploma work with the RSA prior to their death.
Lastly, Mr Robertson wrongly suggests that our exhibition programme includes Monet and Gauguin - I assume that he is confusing us with the programme of the National Galleries of Scotland, with whom we share exhibition spaces in the RSA building on The Mound.
Colin R Greenslade
Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture