Sir Anthony Caro
Royal Academy of Arts

For 250 years, the RA has existed to champion art and artists. This year, we’ve opened up our newly expanded campus with free displays, new spots to eat, drink and shop, and much more.

The RA was founded in 1768 by a group of 40 artists and architects who became the first Royal Academicians. The first president was Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose statue now stands outside Burlington House.

Over the past 250 years, we’ve moved house several times, elected hundreds of new RAs and even survived the Blitz – all while continuing to stage an annual Summer Exhibition, elect new members and champion art and architecture in all its forms. Read our exceptional story here.

Eileen Cooper

The New RA

To celebrate our 250th anniversary, we’ve unveiled our newly expanded campus, with more space than ever before to make, debate and exhibit art.

The new RA has a link between our Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens galleries for the first time, a new lecture theatre, and an expanded RA Schools giving our students more space to create.

We’re run by the Royal Academicians, artists and architects elected by their peers in recognition of their exceptional work. We’re home to Britain’s longest established art school, the RA Schools. Every year since 1768 we’ve held an annual Summer Exhibition, the largest open-submission art exhibition in the world. We present our collection of art and architecture in free displays throughout our home on Piccadilly. And we put on world-class exhibitions of art from around the world, welcoming hundreds of thousands of people to our galleries each year.

We are an Academy

We have a lot in common with museums and other galleries, but as an Academy, we have a broader role – to promote not just the appreciation and understanding of art, but also its practice.

We are led by artists

Just as our founders intended, we are still led by many of the greatest artists and architects of the day. Each Royal Academician must be a practicing artist, elected by their peers in recognition of their work. Our Academicians represent many different perspectives, but we all share a deep commitment to art and a strong belief in the contribution that artists make to the world.

We are an independent charity

Unlike most of our peers, we don’t receive revenue funding from the government and so we are reliant upon the support of visitors, donors, sponsors, and the loyal Friends of the Royal Academy to continue our work.

Authored Articles
Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits
Oct 27, 2019 – Jan 26, 2020
Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a...
Future Now Symposium 2019
March 7-8, 2019 / York, UK
We are living in a time of globalization, expansion and media saturation. We communicate instantly, yet with alarming disconnect....
Robert Motherwell / Open
May 17 – July 21, 2018
Templon presents paintings never before shown in Paris by the master abstract artist, Robert Motherwell. The exhibition will feature...
Chantal Joffe: Pastels
April 14 – May 19, 2018
Focusing on relatives, friends and herself in scenes of leisure and domestic life, Chantal Joffe brings images robustly to...
Scorched Earth / Hughie O’Donoghue
March 14 – April 14, 2018
O’Donoghue’s new paintings revisit and reimagine the imagery observed and invented by Van Gogh as he struggled to make...
Something Resembling Truth / Jasper Johns
Feb 10 – May 13, 2018
Organized with the Royal Academy in London, this exhibit with loans from numerous collections features over 120 of Jasper...
82 Portraits and 1 Still Life / David Hockney
Nov 10, 2017 – Feb 25, 2018
”Other people fascinate me, and the most interesting aspect of other people–the point where we go inside them–is the...