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Modern Classicisms


Please note: This comeptition will open for entries in late September 2017.

Win £500 worth of cash prizes and have your artwork displayed in a major exhibition on Modern Classicisms at King’s in spring 2018. 

Modern Classicisms is a new major competition, open to staff and students at King’s and the Courtauld Institute of Art, which asks you to reflect on what Modern Classicism's mean to you.


The legacy of classical Greek and Roman antiquity is all around us – not least here in London: in our buildings, in our galleries, even in modern-day advertising. The stories of classical mythology have shaped our modern self-understanding; classical statues have moulded ideas about what our bodies are or should be; likewise, the classical past has been exploited for various ideological ends – in fashioning ideas about class, for example, and not least about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ art.

But what does this legacy mean to you? What do you understand the ‘classical’ to be? Where do you see its influences? How do you respond to it? Is the classical something beautiful, or oppressive? Is it something to celebrate – or something to subvert and challenge? 

What are we looking for?

QuinnWe invite entries that reflect on these and other questions, exploring the legacy of ‘classical’ Greek and Roman antiquity – whether as ideal, antitype or spur for reflection.

Entries can be made in any medium that lends itself for display – whether e.g. painting/drawing, small-scale sculpture, photography, film or poetry/short prose. We are looking for entries that are innovative, creative and original, and across the full spectrum of different academic schools, faculties and departments.


What will you win?

A selection of entries will feature in a major new exhibition: Modern Classicisms, held in Bush House in spring 2018. If selected, your work would feature alongside some of the biggest names in the contemporary art world (including Grayson Perry, Marc Quinn, Damien Hirst). Winners will be invited to the private opening of the show, and we will be awarding £500 worth of cash prizes on the night.

The deadline for submission of entries will be 6pm on Monday 22nd January 2018. To enter the competition, please complete the form here and follow its submission instructions.

To find out more about the Modern Classicisms project, and other activities over the 2017–2018 academic year, please visit


Frequently asked questions:

How should I submit my entry?

Please download and complete the word form (pasting within it a photo or screenshot of your entry). The submission should then be brought to the Department of Classics Office (Room B3, North Wing, Strand Campus), any weekday between 9am and 5pm. Please note that the office is usually closed on Wednesday afternoons.

What can be entered?

The sole restriction here is that we would like to display work as part of our spring 2018 exhibition. Entries could include small-scale sculpture, painting, photography, videos, text/poetry; if you would like to enter a text submission, you might want to think about how this could best be displayed.

Am I eligible to enter?

The competition is open to students and staff at King’s and the Courtauld Institute of Art. You will need to supply your King’s/Courtauld email address. 

Are staff eligible, or is this competition limited to students?

Yes: the only constraint is that you must have a KCL or Courtauld email address. 

Can I submit work in partnership with someone else or in a group?

Group entries (by two or more people) will be accepted. Not everyone within a group must have a King’s or Courtauld connection, as long as at least one person is at King’s or the Courtauld. 

When is the submission deadline?

Entries have to be registered online by 6pm on Monday 22nd January 2018, and submissions must be delivered in person by the end of the following day.

Will my artwork be returned?

Yes, we can arrange for submissions to be returned from May 2018. 

What are the prizes?

First prize:£300. Second prize: £150. Third prize: £75. 

How will prize money be paid?

Prizes will be paid by bank transfer. In the case of group entry, the money will be paid to the first named (King’s or Courtauld) person.

I feel that this isn’t my field – and I don’t have a background in arts or classics.

This is in no way necessary – and your submission may well be all the stronger as a result! Note that members of the judging panel will also have diverse backgrounds, and we’re looking for innovative as well as creative responses to the brief.

Who will judge the competition?

There will be a six-person judging committee: it will include contemporary British artists, King’s/Courtauld academics (with different backgrounds) and a representative from the Cultural Institute. In order to maintain anonymity, the names of judges will not be published – but you should expect some high-profile names!

I still have questions. Whom should I contact?

Please send an email to

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