Founded in 1768, this is the world's foremost artist- and architect-led institution and the country's oldest society concerned solely with the fine arts.
To celebrate the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary in 2018, the RA is offering 50% off entry to Tacita Dean: Landscape to visitors with a National Art Pass.
The Royal Academy was founded by a group of 36 artists and architects, including its first president Sir Joshua Reynolds, who were determined to achieve professional standing for British art and architecture. They opened Britain's first art school – still a major part of the campus – and inaugurated an annual exhibition that continues to draw leading artists from all over the world.
On the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy in 2018, the New RA opened its doors following a major redevelopment. New spaces include the state-of-the-art Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries which provide a third suite of galleries for temporary exhibitions, and the magnificent new Royal Academy Collection Gallery. The redevelopment created 70% more public space in all, with galleries dedicated to architecture, site-specific installations, free displays and the work of RA students. A permanent new lecture theatre and learning centre offer an extensive public events programme.
Past Royal Academicians include John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner, Lord Leighton and Stanley Spencer, while current members include Grayson Perry, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, David Hockney, Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor.
The collection focuses on British art and artists and mainly ranges from the 18th century to the present day. Among the highlights are major works by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Turner, Constable, Alma-Tadema, Flaxman, Millais, Leighton, Waterhouse, Sargent, Spencer and Hockney. Some of the John Madejski Fine Rooms have been rehung with works from the permanent collection. They can be visited on special free tours. See website for details.