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In pictures: 40 years of exhibition posters

Published 15 May 2017

This year marks 40 years of our Friends of the RA scheme, and 40 years of the exhibitions they’ve visited. As a display of posters goes on show as part of Friends Week, here’s a reminder of just a few – and an invitation to vote for your favourites!

  • The idea of having “Friends” – RA supporters who subscribe each year and get in free to all exhibitions – was introduced in 1977 by then President, Sir Hugh Casson. Now, as the scheme celebrates its 40th anniversary, founding supporters like Lynne Nesbit have had access to an impressive 868 exhibitions. Alongside the 39 Summer Exhibitions (40 in June!), there have been surveys on leading living artists, odes to forgotten masters, landmark retrospectives and many, many more. Do you remember them? Here’s a reminder of just some of the shows you might have seen since 1977 – and underneath, a full list of major exhibitions from the past 10 years, where we’d love to see you vote for your favourites.