Six spots to visit around the RA this summer

Published 19 July 2023

If you’re visiting our exhibitions this summer why not explore some of our other favourite places around the RA?

  • The artworks continue to spark conversation between customers and staff alike, giving you an insight into the history, interest, and passion of Art within all of us.

    Jack, Sodexo

    • Kira Freije, Standing Woman Arms Folded

      Kira Freije, Standing Woman Arms Folded, 2015.

      Part of the RA Collectionsteel. 2300 mm x 1050 mm x 510 mm. © The Artist. © Photo: Royal Academy of Arts, London.

      2. Standing Woman Arms Folded

      The Julia and Hans Rausing Hall runs beneath our Main Galleries and is part of the route which links Burlington House with Burlington Gardens. It’s lined with casts of notable sculptures and anatomical models which were used as teaching aids at the RA Schools.

      The most recent work featured is Standing Woman Arms Folded by RA Schools graduate Kira Freije. Produced in 2015, the text-based piece might be seen as a challenge to the figurative casts of women which surround it.

  • I love walking along the Rausing hallway past the Schools sculptures and plaster casts.

    A visitor to the RA

  • My favourite RA poster from The Poster Bar is David Hockney A Bigger Picture exhibition poster. It is bright, beautiful and immediately draws your eye.

    Grace, Company of Cooks

    • Giampietrino and Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Copy of Leonardo's The Last Supper

      Giampietrino and Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Copy of Leonardo's The Last Supper, c.1515-20.

      Part of the RA CollectionOil on canvas. 3020 mm x 7850 mm. © Photo: Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photographer: Prudence Cuming Associates Limited.

      4. Christ's feet

      You can see a full-size sixteenth century copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in our free Collection Gallery.

      Christ’s feet are missing from the original Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie, removed in 1652 to make way for a door inserted in to the fresco. However, on our copy his feet are still intact.

      Our version of Leonardo’s composition was even lent to restorers in Milan to help with the conservation of the original, although they never added the feet back in!

  • Treat yourself to a day out at the RA, starting with coffee in the courtyard and then strolling through the building to our Collection Gallery to enjoy portraits of RAs through the years.

    Rebecca Salter, President of the Royal Academy

    • Max Boyla, The Sound of Silence

      Max Boyla, The Sound of Silence, 2021.

      Neon site-specific installation emitting SOS morse code outside The Royal Academy of Art, Burlington Gardens.

      5. The Sound of Silence

      Max Boyla’s neon telephone box installation The Sound of Silence has become a favourite photo spot for passersby. The RA Schools graduate created the site-specific work in 2021. It consists of large neon letters, spelling ‘SOS’, which blink on and off to emit SOS in Morse code.

      Boyla originally had the idea for the piece during the national lockdown in 2020. “I was thinking of the letters as if they were in a cage, trapped in there”, he says.

  • When people are struggling, they often find it hard to communicate, to ask for help. The Sound of Silence felt like a reaching out.

    Max Boyla, RA Schools graduate

    • Installation view of the Architecture Wall, curated by Spencer de Grey RA

      Installation view of the Architecture Wall, curated by Spencer de Grey RA

      © Nigel Young/Foster + Partners

      6. A detail of parliament

      Come in via our Burlington House entrance, walk around the staircase up to the Main Galleries and turn right to find the Architecture Wall. This 11-meter-high display features small details from buildings designed by architect Academicians.

      Keep an eye out for a section from the roof of the parliamentary building Portcullis House, designed by the late Michael Hopkins RA.

      Order a coffee from a hole in the wall here, it’s a quieter part of the building to enjoy a sit and a drink.

    • Diners at José Pizarro at the RA

      Visiting us this summer?

      Are you visiting the RA this summer? Find out more about our cafés, restaurants and bars, including the José Pizarro restaurant in the Senate Rooms.