Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932
11 February – 17 April 2017
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, this powerful exhibition explores one of the most momentous periods in modern world history through the lens of its groundbreaking art.
America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s
25 February — 4 June 2017
The art of 1930s America tells the story of a nation in flux. Artists responded to rapid social change and economic anxiety with some of the 20th century’s most powerful art – brought together now in this once-in-a-generation show.
Design a revolution-inspired RA profile picture
Competition time! Take inspiration from Soviet Russia's modernist design innovations and give our profile picture a new look. Win a Revolution exhibition catalogue, and tickets to our next RA Late after hours party. Submit your design via Twitter or Instagram before 29 March.
Beat the crowds
Visit the RA late this spring. We’re staying open until 10pm on several Saturdays: 25 March, 8 and 15 April, 3 June. You can also visit until 8pm on Sunday 16 April and Sunday 4 June. As usual, we're open until 10pm every Friday.
A new civic Быт – way of life
27 March 2017
We discuss the meaning of ‘civic space’ as it has changed from post-revolutionary Moscow to today.
Five graphic design ideas from the Russian Revolution
Geometry, bold typography and minimalist colour feel right at home in 2017 – but they’re hallmarks of a design language that emerged in Russia a hundred years ago. Designer and author Steve Heller presents five key ideas we owe to Soviet design.
David Adjaye elected to the Royal Academy
This month, we welcomed the internationally acclaimed architect David Adjaye as a member of the Royal Academy. His recent projects include Harlem's Sugar Hill social housing scheme, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In conversation: Cathie Pilkington RA and Nathaniel Hepburn
On 1 April, venture into the RA's Life Room to sit among artist Cathie Pilkington's new sculpture project, and hear her discuss the work with director of the Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft, Nathaniel Hepburn.
Inside the show: art of the Russian Revolution
In these videos, take a look inside our exhibition of post-revolutionary Russian art and learn more about the vast 1932 exhibition in Leningrad that inspired it.
Life Room: Anatomy of a Doll
1 April — 14 April 2017
Cathie Pilkington RA’s reappropriation of the doll calls into question the figurative tradition in art. Take a tour of her latest project in a unique space where the depiction of the human body has been explored across the centuries.
The tale of Russia’s revolutionary ceramics
Emma Crichton-Miller charts the fortunes of St Petersburg’s porcelain factory, from supplier of exclusive editions to the Russian court, to producer of high end Soviet agit-prop.
The Women's History Month art quiz
Know your O‘Keeffe from your Kahlo? For Women's History Month, we’re celebrating a few of the great female artists who deserve a wider audience. Take the quiz and let’s see how much you know.
Gilbert & George elected to the Royal Academy
This month, we welcomed Gilbert & George to the Royal Academy. Their art is an ongoing portrait of our world, from chewing gum on the pavements to vistas of urban grandeur and decay.
New RA editions by Gary Hume
Three brand new prints, created with the RA Schools' 19th century press, are now available to buy online, alongside other artist's proofs and rare editions by Gary Hume RA.
A designer collection: Cath Kidston on the art in her life
With prints on her walls by Calder, Klee and Keith Haring, Cath Kidston has long been an avid collector, and the London Original Print Fair has been the designer’s hunting ground. Martin Gayford went to see the works adorning her Gloucestershire home.
Why I made my Muppet masterpiece: "American Gothique"
As Grant Wood’s American Gothic goes on show at the RA, the former Creative Director of the Muppets explains how he came to make a painstaking tribute to it – and why he owes Piggy an apology.
RA Lates: America Dreaming
Join us at the RA after hours as we revel in the myth of the American dream in all its glory, from the glamour of 1930s Hollywood to the dust and dirt of the rural homestead. Think automobiles, the New Deal, the Dust Bowl, the Golden Age of movies, Sam Spade, Marlene Dietrich, Philip Marlowe, Dorothy and Toto, and above all – freedom.
How do you get from the "American dream" to the Japanese house?
Six spring exhibitions with six degrees of separation: Sam Phillips finds the dotted line from the British Museum’s American prints through to Japanese architecture at the Barbican.
In the studio with Wolfgang Tillmans RA
The photographer’s workspace in a former Berlin department store houses giant printers, tropical plants and DJ turntables. Anna Coatman meets the acclaimed artist and EU campaigner.
Friends Week: 15–21 May 2017
An invitation for Friends to explore the RA and learn about everything that membership has to offer. Join us for a week of special events – discover more, meet the people behind the RA and experience the RA out of hours.
The Russian painting that’s so controversial it’s in storage
As the RA prepares for a major exhibition of Russian art, we go behind the scenes at Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery to discover a seldom-seen painting of Lenin that will be making the trip to London.
The reality behind American Gothic
As ‘America after the Fall’ brings some of the country’s most iconic works to Europe for the first time, Sarah Churchwell considers the cultural and political backdrop to Depression Era art.
How to paint a protest poster
Inspired by avant-garde posters from the Russian revolution, here’s how you can paint a protest poster to hold high above your head! This activity is suitable for ages 5+ with adult supervision... Make it and show us your placards!
Futures Found: The Real and Imagined Cityscapes of Post-war Britain
18 February — 29 May 2017
This exhibition explores the contrasts between the ambitions for Britain’s new post-war cityscapes and the varied futures that were subsequently created.
Courses & classes
Revolution: Now! The art history and theory of the Russian Revolution
25 – 26 March 2017
Explore the critical impact of the Russian Revolution on artistic practice and individual artists with this two-day art history and theory course. Delve into theories of abstraction, the rise of performance art, and non-conformist Soviet art rebellions.
How to read it: Anthony Green’s 'The Fur Coat'
The story behind a slightly unusual work by Royal Academician Anthony Green, only recently completed and currently on show in the RA’s Tennant Gallery.
Is colour purely subjective?
Can we consider colours as purely subjective forces? Kassia St Clair and Emyr Williams go head to head.
RA250 stories: how to restore a façade
How do you repair historic stone when that stone is no longer quarried? This video series reveals the ideas, people and challenges behind transforming the RA ahead of our 250th anniversary in 2018, and in this episode we come to the restoration of 6 Burlington Gardens and its historic statues.
How to read it: Meredith Frampton’s Still Life
This meticulous and mysterious work by Meredith Frampton is full of contrasting symbolism. Our Collections team guide you through it in this three-minute read.
“It’s like making a garden” – Gary Hume RA on printmaking
He shot to fame as a painter, but for the past 20 years Gary Hume RA has also made prints. Amy Macpherson visits the artist at the RA Schools’ print workshop ahead of his selling show in the Keeper’s House.
“The 21st century is proving pretty nasty. Let’s reflect on art’s relationship with our times.”
by Bob and Roberta Smith
Should artists get involved in politics like the Russian Constructivists? Or should they remain distant like Thomas Hart Benton during America's Great Depression?
Anthony Green RA: The Life and Death of Miss Dupont
Until 30 April 2017
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Anthony Green’s election as a Royal Academician, this show focuses on a recently-completed work, shown for the very first time. Three metres tall and entitled 'The Fur Coat, “Hazana”', it tells the story of his mother’s second marriage, seen through the eyes of her 13-year-old only child.
London Original Print Fair 2017
4 — 7 May 2017
London's favourite boutique art fair provides an unrivalled opportunity to view and buy original prints spanning five centuries, from top international dealers, galleries and studios.
Six views of America
As a new term in the White House divides America, we look back to another time of social upheaval and economic anxiety. Through the eyes of artists in the RA’s upcoming exhibition, ‘America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s’, here are six snapshots of a changing country.
The exhibition is the thing that excites me – it’s the moment that the work really comes alive.
Celebrating 40 years of Friends!
What does the RA mean to you? On the 40th anniversary of our membership scheme, we asked four decades of Friends about the RA past, present and future. Celebrate this milestone with us at our special programme of events this January.
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
What’s coming up in 2017 at the Royal Academy of Arts
The RA’s Artistic Director introduces our 2017 exhibition programme, which explores some of the most momentous developments in 20th-century art.
How to read it: Constable's Flatford Mill study
We offer a quick guide to this oil sketch by John Constable RA, painted quickly to develop ideas before the final work. Constable's oils will be on view to Friends of the RA this month in a special tour of our collections store as part of the Friends's 40th anniversary celebrations.
Visit the RA shop
Browse our range of artistic products designed and inspired by Royal Academicians, from Grayson Perry and Yinka Shonibare to David Hockney and Zaha Hadid.
Very rarely as an artist do you get that real ecstasy of painting – you are always chasing it.
Chantal Joffe RA
Eddie Peake: "I don't know what my sexuality is"
As I see it
With a new show at White Cube Hong Kong, RA Schools alumnus Eddie Peake talks football, finding himself and “ferocious attention seeking.”
Odd couples: Artists you never knew were friends
As we announce a show on the little-known relationship between two of modern art’s greatest masters, we take a look at the friendship between Dali and Duchamp, and five other artist pairs you would never have guessed.
Abstract Expressionists in 60 seconds
Got a minute? In these short videos, the RA’s Artistic Director introduces five of the key figures of Abstract Expressionism.
The Royal Academy is undergoing a transformative redevelopment in the build-up to 2018, when we will celebrate our 250th anniversary. Each month, we'll share with you a behind-the-scenes look as the project progresses.
Pin Drop - Short Story Award 2017
Showcase your short fiction with the RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award. The award offers a unique platform for emerging and established writers to showcase their work at the Royal Academy of Arts, during a special event where the winning story will be announced and read aloud by a special guest. Submissions for 2017 are now open; entries must be submitted by 6pm, 23 April 2017.
Keep looking at your own work. Keep looking at the world, trying to reconcile the two things. Cherish your fellow travellers. Don’t give up.
As I see it
Antony Gormley: "We need art more than ever"
In our new series, artists reflect on art, life and lessons learnt. Here, Antony Gormley RA explains how he first found his subject, why the arts are vital in education and why he’s ashamed of Brexit.
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
Academicians in Focus
3 November 2016 — 27 March 2017
Olwyn Bowey RA has devoted her career to the study of nature. Dynamic and rigorous, her vibrant and distinctive studies of potted plants and windblown trees are infused with the passion of an artist who works in isolation.
How to… make a wood engraving, with Anne Desmet
In the first part of our new video series looking at artistic techniques, Anne Desmet RA demonstrates each step in creating a wood engraving, from tracing the original drawing through to printing a first proof.
Mayfair & St James's interactive gallery map
Produced by the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with GalleriesNow.net, this interactive map highlights the 145 art locations in this historic quarter of London, including 139 commercial galleries, four auction houses and the RA itself.
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
‘RA Family Album’ wraps Burlington Gardens
A new artwork by Yinka Shonibare RA wrapping the RA's Burlington Gardens building brings together over 160 images that span the Royal Academy’s 248-year history. The juxtaposition of images reveals the rich tapestry of activity which takes place behind these walls.
Inside the Academy
Tumblr: From the RA
Discover works from the RA's Collections
We've reached the half-way point on our quest to digitise 10,000 items from the Royal Academy of Arts' vast collections. Visit our Tumblr to discover drawings, sketches, prints, books, oddities and wonders, all revealed by RA staff and a team of volunteers.
Listen to RA Podcasts
From short stories read by leading novelists to artists and experts in conversation, catch up on events at the RA with our podcasts.
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
Explore our Collection
The Royal Academy Collections include paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, historic books, (i.e. published before 1921), archives, historic photographs and plaster casts.
Become a Friend of the 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.
Learn from experts and artists
Our new programme of short courses and classes offers the opportunity to explore subjects ranging from life drawing to the history of portraiture, led by expert tutors and practising artists.
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.
Inside the Academy
The RA Schools
A school of contemporary fine art, right at the heart of the RA.
Looking for an art-lover’s gift?
Order bespoke art prints, canvases and framed reproductions from our Collection online.
Join the club
The Academicians’ Room in the Keeper’s House began life in 1883, becoming the favourite haunt of the Academy’s artists as a private members club. The room has entered a new phase in its rich history, and has reopened with a fresh new look by the renowned Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Members can expect artworks by Royal Academicians on display, an exceptional food menu and an exciting programme of events, including an artist-led Salon Series.
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.