Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust
4 July — 27 September 2015
★★★★★ - The Guardian
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.
You're bringing Ai Weiwei's Tree to London
Thank you to our 1,300 Kickstarter backers who contributed £123,000 to bring Ai Weiwei's monumental installation to our courtyard.
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.
19 September — 13 December 2015
In September 2015 major artist and cultural phenomenon Ai Weiwei takes over our main galleries with brave, provocative and visionary works.
Our pick of this week’s art events: 28 August – 3 September
From the psychedelic, cacophonous videos of South Africa’s Dineo Seshee Bopape, to the abandoned Saharan film sets in Ben Rivers’ latest cinematic work, we guide you through the week’s top art events.
My studio life: Anthony Whishaw RA
From his studio in south west London, Anthony Whishaw RA tells us how he has been influenced by Goya, and why he enjoys working from two studios.
Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse
30 January — 20 April 2016
Using the work of Monet as a starting point, this landmark exhibition examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s.
Inside the show: Joseph Cornell
A video tour with the exhibition's curators
Take a look inside the exhibition ‘Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust’ in these short video clips with our curators.
Damien Hirst in conversation with John Hoyland RA
From the archive
This October, Damien Hirst opens Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall with a show of paintings by the late John Hoyland RA. In this interview from 2009, Hoyland told Hirst about meeting Francis Bacon, and what it is to be a painter.
Thoughts on paper: the sketchbooks of Chris Wilkinson RA
Chris Wilkinson RA has continued to value hand drawing in an age where digital software prevails in architectural offices. Hugh Pearman meets him as a show opens at the RA to accompany the publication of his sketchbooks.
Become a Friend of the RA
Become a Friend of the RA today and enjoy a year of free entry to our exhibitions, including Joseph Cornell and Ai Weiwei. Friends can bring a family guest for free, enjoy all day access to the Keeper’s House and much more.
In the studio with Sonia Lawson RA
Despite various challenges, including a leaking roof, Sonia Lawson RA is keen to return to her garden studio, says Fiona Maddocks.
10 minutes with… Tess Jaray RA
Each month we catch up with a different Royal Academician. This month, Tess Jaray RA tells us about her move away from bright colours, and how driven you need to be to be an artist.
Don’t worry what other people say about your work. Be free. That’s what art is about.
Cornelia Parker RA
Free RA Tours
Discover the art, architecture and history of the RA in these special, one-hour tours that include the historic John Madejski Fine Rooms.
Thomas Heatherwick RA: “Inspiration is a cliché”
Thomas Heatherwick RA delights in discovering his ideas don’t work – it’s all part of a process of elimination that results in his extraordinary designs, as Sam Phillips finds out.
There is only one rule for aspiring artists. That is, only become one if you have absolutely no choice, if your drive is so strong that nothing else could be contemplated. If you think in terms of worldly success, forget it. The rewards are in the doing and in the breadth of art.
Tess Jaray RA
Hard-won images: Frank Auerbach and Alberto Giacometti
The intensely wrought paintings of Frank Auerbach find their match in Giacometti’s sculptures, as two shows reveal, says Simon Wilson.
Object of the month: August 2015
Robert Buhler RA's 'High Alps, Switzerland' (1971)
The artist’s short, vigorous brushstrokes and bright palette of blues, greens and white suggest the fresh, vivid atmosphere of the mountains.
RA Lates: Joseph Cornell's enchanted cosmos
Saturday 5 September
Magic meets science at this event as we explore Joseph Cornell’s awe of the cosmos. We'll celebrate his dreamlike, poetic assemblages and bring his eclectic imagination to life. Think sci-fi film screenings, ballet dancers, collage-making workshops and much, much more.
Joseph Cornell: A beginner’s guide
Cornell is a singular figure in the history of art – best known for his pioneering use of collage and assemblage. For those new to Cornell, here are six key facts to help you enter his unique imagination.
Artist of the month: August 2015
Charles Gere RA (1869-1957)
A prominent member of ‘The Birmingham Group’, Charles Gere RA was inspired by the medieval period and lead the revival of tempera painting.
Watercolour 'en plein air': One-day practical class for beginners
This one-day class explores the art of painting from nature. Working with vista views of Hyde Park, students will learn methods of capturing natural light, how to mix colours tonally and techniques for working beyond the studio.
Joseph Cornell and his poets
Ted Hughes Poetry Prize-nominated author Tamar Yoseloff, leader of our upcoming short course, explores the poets whose writings had a profound effect on Joseph Cornell.
Terrace Wires: Cornelia Parker RA
From 28 May 2015
Celebrated British sculptor Cornelia Parker RA presents a new public installation in St Pancras International station.
The Waterloo Cartoon: a poem by Owen Shears
To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and the Academy’s display of Daniel Maclise RA’s extraordinary drawing, Owen Sheers writes a poem considering its significance in the context of war art.
Learn from experts and artists
Whether you’re a writer, sketcher, art enthusiast or architecture buff, discover our new range of courses and classes.
Joseph Cornell: armchair voyager
The title of our Joseph Cornell exhibition is ‘Wanderlust’. Curator Sarah Lea describes how this theme is closely linked to Cornell’s artistic practice, and his travels of the imagination.
More than meets the eye: Julian Barnes on art
In his new book of essays, Julian Barnes offers insightful lessons in how to look at – and read about – art.
Explore Daniel Maclise RA's cartoon of the Battle of Waterloo
To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo we've created an interactive image of Maclise's 13-metre wide commemorative cartoon. Our curators and conservators reveal some of the stories, details and secrets hidden within the work.
Very rarely as an artist do you get that real ecstasy of painting – you are always chasing it.
Chantal Joffe RA
Art Sales at the RA
Our brand new collection, Works on Paper by Sculptors, has just launched. This is your chance to purchase limited editions and unique works by Royal Academicians and significant contemporary artists.
Peter Randall-Page is elected as a Royal Academician
Peter Randall-Page has gained an international reputation through his sculpture, drawings and prints. His large-scale works have evolved around themes of nature and geometry.
The act of drawing is at the heart of everything I do. It is the most intimate of processes and at its best reveals both the hand and mind of the artist to the viewer.
Rebecca Salter RA
Inside the Academy
Redeveloping the Royal Academy
For nearly 250 years, the RA has been a place to make, exhibit and debate art. For our anniversary in 2018 we are opening up the RA as never before, transforming our historic buildings – and inviting Friends and visitors old and new to celebrate with us.
Preview: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at the Serpentine
The imagined portraits by this RA Schools alumna and Turner Prize nominee are revelations from another world, says Kelly Grovier.
Joseph Cornell: Pioneer of assemblage art
Joseph Cornell created curious worlds of long ago and far away in his boxes of found objects. We examine the work of this American trailblazer ahead of his RA exhibition.
Architecture is like writing. You have to edit it over and over so it looks effortless.
Zaha Hadid RA
Five quick tips to improve your life-drawing
The RA Schools’ Head of Sculpture and Printmaking led a life-drawing masterclass as part of our first Friends Week. Here he shares five key pieces of advice.
In the neighbourhood: Exploring Ai Weiwei’s ‘village’ in Beijing
Behind the scenes
A vibrant arts quarter has grown up around Ai Weiwei’s home and studio in Beijing. Our curator Adrian Locke explores the area, and finds himself on a journey into the city’s past.
The moment just before a work is finished, it’s finished. You want a bit of nervous twitching, a bit of tension, in the sculpture.
Richard Wilson RA
Zaha Hadid RA in conversation with Alain Elkann
In this video, the eminent architect discusses her approach to her work and her thoughts on the past, present and future of architecture.
Looking for an art-lover's gift?
Order bespoke art prints, canvases and framed reproductions from our Collection online.
Architecture is a public art, and is never really finished. When a building is completed it’s the beginning of its life – a life which really only starts when people inhabit and breathe life into it. Buildings change, evolve and grow.
Alan Stanton RA
Inside the Academy
The RA Schools
A school of contemporary fine art, right at the heart of the RA.
Friends of the RA
RA Art Tours Worldwide
These expert-led small-group tours, created by travel specialists Cox & Kings, focus on the art, architecture and archaeology of some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.