While our building is closed, we’re determined to keep you inspired with the very best of the RA – from new ways to explore our exhibitions to tips for keeping creative, plus articles, podcasts, special features and more. Here are a few recent highlights.
From the time we rejected Banksy to Turner’s “gunshot in the gallery”, the Summer Exhibition has regularly ruffled the feathers of British art in its 254 years. Here are some of our favourite moments!
When you can’t go to the art, let the art come to you. Here’s our pick of the best artist biopics and documentaries available to stream.
Gather round, art lovers – because it’s time for our annual art-related quizzing! Play with the family, test your know-it-all neighbours, or just take the blimmin’ thing right now!
Faced with more than a thousand artworks, how can an art lover make the most of their annual pilgrimage to the Summer Exhibition? Veteran critic Mark Hudson draws from his professional experience to offer 10 useful pointers.
Artist Michael Armitage paints on a material called Lubugo, which is made by the Baganda people of southern Uganda. Discover how Lubugo’s crafted, and how Armitage incorporates its imperfections into his work.
Join Emyr Williams for a workshop in how to create your own abstract drawings
Join artist Jake Garfield for this fun and informal life drawing session
Discover repetition and transformation in this workshop with Elinor Stanley
Join Laxmi Hussain for a guided workshop in drawing botanics
Learn all about anatomy drawing with our online Saturday Sketch Club
Have a go at making your own paint with eggs, make-up, spices and chalk.
Join us for a class in collage with artist Sahra Hersi – all you need is paper, glue and scissors
Take a lesson in life drawing from Andy Pankhurst in week two of our online Saturday Sketch Club
Artists Sane Wadu, Elimo Njau and Asaph Ng‘ethe Macua have played an important role in shaping figurative painting in Kenya – they have also had a profound impact on Armitage’s own artistic development. Learn more about these artists in our short video series.
Catch up on the first of our online Saturday Sketch Clubs, focusing on still life drawing with Mark Hampson
Take ten minutes to meditate as we guide you through a slow, mindful look at Yinka Shonibare RA’s sculpture.
Learn how to make your own paper from scratch using a photo frame, a pair of old tights and scrap paper.
Enjoy five blissful minutes of mindfulness and art with this guided meditation.
Edith Devaney, curator of our upcoming David Hockney exhibition, explores how the artist harnessed springtime to explore the drama of nature, the process of grief – and the power of hope.
Take ten minutes to meditate as we mindfully guide you through John Aldrige’s still life painting ‘Artichokes and Cathay Quinces’.
Spend 10 mindful minutes on a guided meditation through the details of Rodney Burn RA’s ‘Bracklesham Sands’.
100-year-old artist Diana Armfield RA writes about the joy of painting the flowers in her garden.
This International Women’s Day, we celebrate an artist once dismissed as a “San Francisco Housewife” who refused to see parenthood as an obstacle.
Covid-19 has pushed arts institutions to their limits. President of the Royal Academy, Rebecca Salter, and our Secretary and Chief Executive, Axel Rüger, reflect on the challenges faced by the RA.
Spend 60 seconds exploring the dark mythology behind John William Waterhouse RA’s ‘A Mermaid’.
We’ve loved seeing you being creative at home with our online activities. If you need more inspiration during lockdown, we’ve picked out some other great resources from the UK’s art galleries and organisations…
When we tweeted an artwork in the Young Artists’ Summer Show by Cressida, aged 5, we were flooded by children’s art which will make you marvel, make you laugh and make your day.
Two legs good, four legs better? Grab your pencils and sketch this tiny pony in two short poses from our 2019 event #LifeDrawingLive: the anatomy class.
Joy Labinjo is quietly changing the course of art history from a small studio in south London. Writer Fiona Maddocks meets Labinjo to discuss her ambitious paintings, and the next steps in her career.
It’s been a challenging and eventful year for everything, let alone art — have you been paying attention, or wrapped under a duvet watching Netflix?
Six tonnes of steel mesh, a gallery flooded with seawater, a body you could walk through and an experience like no other. Relive our 2019 Antony Gormley exhibition with behind-the-scenes videos, inspiration from the man himself and works from the show.
Cristina Iglesias, whose sculptures bring out the otherworldliness of the cobbles, stones, bricks and mortar of cities, speaks to Debika Ray about winning the 2020 RA Architecture Prize.
Explore the first ever winter Summer Exhibition like never before and discover a myriad of works by household names and emerging artists inside this virtual tour.
Art historian Patricia Berman traces Edvard Munch’s surprising influence on women artists, from Tracey Emin RA and Marlene Dumas Hon RA, to Louise Bourgeois and Maria Lassnig.
As a retrospective of the photographer opens in London, Theo Gordon focuses on a pivotal series that commented on gay experience in 1980s Delhi.
Join coordinators Jane and Louise Wilson RA as they introduce the 252nd Summer Exhibition and discuss the challenges of putting it all together during a pandemic.
Imogen West-Knights catches up with three young creatives as they prepare to exhibit in this year’s Young Artists’ Summer Show.
In bustling Parisian street scenes, windswept seascapes and shimmering portraits, the Impressionists sought immediacy in their art. Writer Deborah Levy finds their approach as radical today as ever, in the masterpieces on show from the Ordrupgaard Collection.
Discover who won the People’s Choice award, as well as the most inspiring artworks in each key stage chosen by our President, Rebecca Salter.
In 2018, we hosted the world’s first-ever livestreamed life drawing class from the Royal Academy’s famous Life Room, #LifeDrawingLive. Grab a pencil and have a crack at each pose by life model Andrew Crayford.
For the first time in its 252-year history, the Summer Exhibition will fall in winter. Amy Sherlock speaks to this year’s co-ordinators, film and photography duo Jane and Louise Wilson RA, who are steering the show into new waters.
Try these two simple techniques and experiment with using chalk to make colourful abstract prints.
Step into our galleries to experience ‘Gauguin and the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard Collection’, including 60 works – many of which have never been seen in the UK.
The Young Artists’ Summer Show is our free, open submission exhibition for young people aged 5–19. Their art will inspire you, challenge you and, most importantly, make you smile.
Artist Anne Desmet RA documents the weekly progress of her latest wood engraving – inspired by her mother, the resilience of the human spirit, and Florence Nightingale.
Jump into the Last Supper, put a masterpiece from our Collection in your own living room or take a virtual tour of our beautiful building on Google Arts & Culture.
The latest in our ‘Artists in Isolation’ series, Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid RA shares her experience of grieving in lockdown, and explains why, when we come out of it, conversations about the value of art have never been more vital.
Originally released in cinemas, this ‘Exhibition on Screen’ film takes you back in time to visit the Royal Academy’s 2013 ‘Manet: Portraying Life’ exhibition, one of our most visited shows of all time. Take a trip to 19th-century Paris where the story of this modern master unfolds – and peep behind the scenes at the RA, as the curators prepared to tell his story in this major show.
In this video from our ‘Artists in Isolation’ series, John Maine RA talks us through the process of making a huge, stone sculpture for Salisbury town centre – and what happens when lockdown lands in the middle of it.
Plug in your headphones, sit back and relax with one of these podcasts, transporting you into the art world from the comfort of your front room.
Originally released in cinemas, this ‘Exhibition on Screen’ film takes us back to our landmark exhibition, ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’, examining the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s.
Galleries and museums might be closed but you can still see major exhibitions from around the world, while swapping the crowds for a cuppa. We pick some of the best virtual tours and artworks currently available online.
Experience our ‘Picasso and Paper’ exhibition from home in this video tour of the galleries.
On 29 March 2020, we were due to open our new exhibition ‘Gauguin and the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard Collection’. Since you can’t come to us, we thought we would bring a taste of it to you. In this video series, see a bite-sized biography of Gauguin, and take a deep dive into Renoir’s ‘Le Moulin de la Galette’ and Manet’s ‘Woman with a Jug’.
These are difficult times for everyone – but art thrives in a crisis, says Rebecca Salter PRA, as we launch a new series of artists and architects documenting their creativity in isolation.
While the RA doors are temporarily closed, you can still experience our exhibition on Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert in this video tour of the galleries.
Become a film director for the day and create your very own cartoon animation inspired by artworks from the RA Collection.