Scott Mead’s work accepted at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition
Best known for his philanthropy and extensive investment banking career, Scott Mead has recently become more visible in the fine art world, actively creating and exhibiting his fine art photography most recently at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in Piccadilly, London.
Scott Mead was born in Washington, DC. When he was 13 years old, he received one of his grandfather’s cameras and ignited a lifelong passion for photography. As a child, he would take pictures at his house, spending hours in the family’s darkroom developing prints and exploring the art form of photography. Later, as an undergraduate student of American History and Literature at Harvard University, Scott Mead also studied visual arts and art history. It was during this time that Mead had the unique opportunity to study with some of America’s best-known photographers: William Eggleston, Emmet Gowin, and Minor White. In 1975 he used a complex photographic technique to take a series of black and white photographs that captured rural New England. By combining a large format camera with a smaller lens and using advanced darkroom technology, Scott Mead was able to create images that would otherwise be nearly impossible to achieve when shot. In 1977 he graduated and continued his studies as a Harvard Scholar at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, where he earned his M.Phil in 1979. And finally, in 1982, Scott Mead concluded his academic career with a Bachelor of Laws from the School of Law. Law from the University of Pennsylvania.
After deliberating between a career in photography or investment banking, Scott Mead decided to put his artistic pursuits on hold and accepted an offer to work at First Boston Corporation. From there he moved to Goldman Sachs & Company, He first worked in the New York offices beginning in 1986 and then moved to London in 1988 to continue to expand and increase the company’s European presence. Mead worked at Goldman Sachs until 2003, he spent a few years at Afax Partners as senior advisor and chairman of the technology and telecommunications advisory council and finally in early 2009, Mead co-founded a private commercial bank, Richmond Park Partners. As Scott Mead’s professional career grew over time, Mead always expressed a continuing interest in the world of fine art. This passion was recently reignited in 2009 when Mead discovered old negatives of his work from 1975, which had been sitting in his attic and forgotten for many years.
In 2010, Scott Mead exhibited works from these years at hamilton gallery in London. solo exhibition, looking back, included 25 black and white prints taken from the time period between 1974 and 1977. The prints, mostly circular images inspired by his teacher at the time, Emmet Gowin, were created with a special technique that allows the viewer to see the same perspective that seen through the photographer’s eyes, without the jagged edges that are common to most rectangular photographs. All proceeds from the exhibition were donated to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Charityspecifically for the Cell and Gene Therapy Laboratory at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
In 2011, two of Scott Mead’s photographs were accepted by the Royal Academy of Arts for his annual summer exhibition. One of the photographs evening light, is part of the series of photographs taken during his university years also presented in the exhibition Looking back. The second photograph, “Untitled”, is another black and white photograph showing the ocean and closed beach umbrellas, under a cloudy sky with a haunting mood.
From the year 1769 to the present day, London’s Royal Academy of Arts has held a summer exhibition that recognizes the works of new emerging artists in the contemporary art world alongside established artists. This year marks the 243rd Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, showcasing 1,117 works including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, film and architecture. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is known for being one of the largest open exhibitions, allowing artists from around the world to submit their works for consideration. This year, the academy’s hanging committee received more than 12,000 submissions from 27 countries and chose a few from the pool of submissions to create the exhibition.
The Royal Academy of Arts was established by King George III in 1768 to promote the arts through education and exhibitions. In addition to its ongoing public exhibitions, the Royal Academy of Arts runs an academic institution, The Royal Academy of Schools, and also has a public library. The Royal Academy is governed by 80 artists who are also known as Royal Academicians. The requirements for an academic include being a fully or partially practicing artist in the UK. Each scholar also has the opportunity to display her work during the Summer Exhibition. Some notable scholars include David Hockney, Tracey Emin, and Anish Kapoor. This year’s summer exhibition included works by scholars Jeff Koons, Tacita Dean, Allen Jones, Jenny Saville, Anish Kapoor, and Tracey Emin.
In addition to his professional work and artistic endeavors, Scott Mead is also an active philanthropist who donates time and money to support causes close to his heart, including education, medical research, athletics, and the fine arts. Scott Mead founded the mead foundation in 1996 in order to provide grants and donations to a wide range of educational, medical and artistic initiatives. He also established the Mead International Scholars Program which provides financial support to law students specializing in projects that support human rights and economic development in regions around the world. Scott Mead is on the executive committee of the Tate Foundation, assisting with financial responsibilities in overseeing the Tate’s endowment at its four UK museum locations. Most recently, Scott Mead became a member of the board of New Look foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by recording artist Usher to help disadvantaged youth learn leadership skills and inspire change in their local communities. Lastly, Mead donates to her alma maters, Harvard, Cambridge, and the University of Pennsylvania to support academic and athletic programs.