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.
Please note: due to a misprint, the National Art Pass benefit listed in our printed Art Map for 2022 is incorrect. The actual offer is the one listed on this page.
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, with new spaces including the state-of-the-art Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries which provide a third suite of galleries for temporary exhibitions. The redevelopment created an abundance of additional public space, 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.
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 Joshua Reynolds, Laura Knight, Angelica Kauffman, Anthony Caro and Yinka Shonibare. 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.