Royal Academy of Arts

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The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by George III in 1768. Governed by artists to 'promote the arts of design' and was the first institution in Great Britain devoted solely to the promotion of the visual arts. The Royal Academy raised the standing of art, artists and architecture. It has held an annual selling exhibition since its formation and held its first loan exhibition in 1870 of 'Ancient Masters'. It now enjoys an unrivalled reputation as a venue for exhibitions of international importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Sat-Thurs 10.00-18.00
Fri 10.00-22.00

Admission charges

Varies with each exhibition


  • Museums Association

Collection details

Design, Fine Art, Architecture

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
painting of girl on a terrace

Richard Diebenkorn

  • 14 March — 7 June 2015 *on now

A focused exploration of the artist’s ever-changing, always compelling career across four decades, shifting from the abstract to the figurative in both painting and works on paper. The exhibition comprises of over 50 works with significant loans from public and private collections in the United States and Europe.

Diebenkorn created an exceptional and consistently intriguing body of work. The exhibition reveals the vital role he played in the development of American art, and is be arranged to reflect the three distinct periods of his work.

During the early stage of his career in the 1950s he gained recognition as a leading abstract expressionist yet in 1955 he turned his attention to figurative painting, considered at the time as a surprising and unfashionable shift, although he achieved considerable success working in this genre. In 1967, having relocated to Southern California from the San Fancisco Bay Area, he returned to abstract paintings and drawings beginning a second long and highly successful period in this style.

The exhibition highlights his staunch artistic independence and shows the ease of movement between styles, which were hallmarks of his career.


£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.


Academicians in Focus: Timothy Hyman RA

  • 30 April — 22 October 2015 *on now

This exhibition assembles some of the poignant and characterful drawings and paintings resulting from Timothy Hyman’s 60 visits to Maggie’s Centres as part of an artist’s residency from 2011–12.

Maggie’s Centres provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. The first centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996, using a blueprint for cancer care established by Maggie Keswick Jencks before her death in June 1995. Since then the charity has commissioned a sequence of outstanding, modestly-scaled buildings sited alongside NHS hospitals
many being designed by major architects, often without fee.

A moving and sensitive portrayal of the inner life of the centres, this exhibition celebrates those who benefit from them – their gatherings, preoccupations, and individual journeys – and explores the essence of the buildings both spiritually and structurally.

Friends, Patrons & Corporate Members have access from 10am, general public from 4pm.

Suitable for


Hide and Seek: Drawings by Eileen Cooper RA

  • 29 May — 23 August 2015 *on now

This summer the RA celebrates the art of Eileen Cooper RA with an exhibition of drawings spanning almost 40 years of her career.

This exhibition, which coincides with the publication of a monograph celebrating Cooper’s career, presents drawings spanning almost 40 years. Cooper creates work that possesses a strongly poetic and distinctive vision, and the artist has been described as a ‘magical realist’. An accomplished painter and printmaker, Cooper’s practice has always been underpinned by drawing. This remarkable body of work illustrates how her distinctive imagery has developed through making drawings that explore such subjects as sexuality, birth, family, fecundity and creativity. We are delighted to display, as part of the exhibition, the artist’s gift to the Royal Academy Collections of ten previously unseen mixed-media drawings. These feature Cooper’s iconic female figures, and are multi-layered and complex in form.

Suitable for


Complimentary entry with a valid Royal Academy exhibition ticket or £3 General Admission ticket. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.


Summer Exhibition 2015

  • 8 June — 16 August 2015

Now in its 247th year, this exhibition continues the tradition of showcasing work by both emerging and established artists in all media, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. The Summer Exhibition attracts a high volume of entrants annually with over 10,000 entries received in 2013.


£13.50 (without donation £12). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.


RA Schools Show 2015

  • 12 — 28 June 2015

Held in the historic studio spaces of the Schools, the exhibition invites students to show works developed over a three-year period of postgraduate study, providing visitors with a rare opportunity to view and buy exceptional pieces from an aspiring generation of artists.


sculpture: wooden box containg paper bird and newspaper clippings

Joseph Cornell Wanderlust

  • 4 July — 27 September 2015

From a basement in New York, Joseph Cornell channelled his limitless imagination into some of the most original art of the 20th century. Step into his beguiling world at this landmark exhibition.


£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.


Daniel Maclise: The Waterloo Cartoon

  • 2 September 2015 — 3 January 2016

To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo a rarely exhibited treasure of the RA’s Collection, the Daniel Maclise cartoon, The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher after the Battle of Waterloo, will be on display after spending decades in storage.

Over 13 metres wide, it is one of the largest cartoons in the UK and was produced in preparation for a prestigious commission in the Houses of Parliament, where the the finished wall-painting is still on display. A work of monumental scale and drama it depicts one of the most significant battles in British history in incredible detail.

Maclise was a prolific painter and illustrator who was much admired for his draughtsmanship and his outstanding skill is showcased in the Waterloo Cartoon. Completed from 1858–1859 he used extensive research and eye-witness accounts to inform the work. Remarkably the piece does not portray triumphalism or glorify war, instead highlighting the tragedy and suffering of this ferocious battle.

The cartoon has recently undergone conservation treatment, thanks to funding from the Arts Council England, to allow it to be presented during this significant occasion.

Suitable for


Complimentary entry with a valid Royal Academy exhibition ticket or £3 General Admission ticket. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.


photograph of Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

  • 19 September — 13 December 2015

In September 2015 the RA welcomes Ai Weiwei, the major artist and cultural phenomenon. His work is visionary, iconoclastic and increasingly political. When he speaks, the world listens.


£15.50 (without donation £15). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.


Painting of woman with colourful gold robes

Jean-Etienne Liotard

  • 24 October 2015 — 31 January 2016

Jean-Etienne Liotard was an artist in great demand at noble courts across Enlightenment Europe. An eccentric and distinctive portraitist, he also made carefully observed scenes of contemporary life in far-flung locales.


£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.


Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House
Greater London




020 7300 8000

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.