From its foundation in 1768 the Royal Academy of Arts has provided a voice for art and artists. We are an independent charity led by eminent artists and architects—the Royal Academicians—and we pursue our mission through exhibitions, education and debate.
Become a Friend of
John Constable RA
Richard Rogers RA
Sandra Blow RA
Wolfgang Tillmans RA
Cornelia Parker RA
Grayson Perry RA
● Fully booked
Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
Taking inspiration from the Abstract Expressionist movement, Friends are invited to step into the energy and vibrancy of 1950s New York at this themed Private View. Enjoy Harlem-style jazz, pop-up talks about the exhibiton, classic Champagne cocktails and culinary treats inspired by the Big Apple
£25 (includes a Champagne cocktail). Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at 9 Fitzmaurice Place, W1
Join curator and art historian Pamela Campbell-Johnston as she gives Friends an illustrated talk about the history of Lansdowne House from its Robert Adam creation in 1763, through to Art Deco additions in the 1930s, ending with the ongoing 21st century refurbishment programme.
£30 (including coffee). Booking required, Friends only.
Directions with ticket. Please make independent travel arrangements to Rochester.
Friends enjoy a guided tour of Rochester Cathedral, exploring the interiors and Norman, Gothic and Early-English Perpendicular architecture, followed by a guided tour of the beautiful Restoration House.
£73 (including coffee, lunch, gls wine, tea). Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at The Monument, Fish St Hill, EC3R
2016 marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, and our walking tour traces its fiery destruction as it burned for four days and four nights, destroying 80% of medieval London.
£28. Booking required, Friends only.
Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders
Join us on our all-inclusive five day tour of Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders, which has been especially curated for the Friends of the Royal Academy.
Contact us for further information.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
To coincide with the Royal Academy’s ‘Abstract Expressionism’ exhibition, exploring an unparalleled period in American Art, we take you to the heart of the modern-day evolution happening in American craft chocolate paired with carefully selected wines.
Meet at Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, WC2N
Join us for a private architectural tour of the Georgian Benjamin Franklin House, the only surviving residence of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
£28 (includes glass of wine). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet at the Laban main entrance; directions will be included with your ticket.
Explore the extraordinary Trinity Laban Dance building by Herzog & de Meuron, designed in collaboration with the visual artist Michael Craig-Martin RA.
£19. Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet at 40 Gutter Lane, London EC2
Join us for this Friends tour of Saddlers’ Hall and viewing of the silver collection. Saddlers’ Hall is the private city mansion of one of the oldest city livery companies, the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.
£27 (includes tea or coffee). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper’s House
Tregothnan and Hawksmoor collaborate for a demonstration of how to make tea-infused cocktails. Using the finest ingredients, they will blend their passions for both tea and cocktail-making in a must-attend event for contemporary cocktail fans and tea lovers alike.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts
Did you know that the shape of a glass can change the taste of beer? Friends of the RA are invited to join a masterclass from Spiegelau, where you will taste quality beers in specially crafted glasses. At the end of the masterclass, you can keep your glass set to continue your enjoyment at home.
£30 (including Spiegelau glass set). Booking required, Friends only.
Meet outside Woolwich Arsenal DLR station.
Join fellow Friends on this walking tour of the historic Royal Arsenal, where Friends discover the history of the Woolwich site from Roman times, through the First World War to the present day.
£28 (includes a cup of tea or coffee, pint of beer or glass of wine). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Join us for a special film screening in collaboration with the East End Film Festival. Artist Jean-Marc Calvet will be joining us from Nicaragua to give further insight to the film that charts his extraordinary story of redemption as he embarks on a journey to make peace with his past.
£12 (including popcorn and a drink). Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at Black Rod's Entrance, Houses of Parliament, SW1. Directions will be included with your ticket.
Learn more about the challenges of keeping, digitising and updating the Parliamentary Archives on this exclusive tour for Friends of the RA.
£25. Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
The Sackler Wing, Burlington House
Friends of the RA are invited to an exclusive Preview of ‘Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans’ before it opens to the public. In this exhibition, the theatrical, the satirical and the macabre come together in arresting fashion in the art of James Ensor.
Free, booking essential. Friends only.
Meet at Wilton's Music Hall, Graces Alley, E1 8JB. The Hall is between Wapping and Whitechapel, close to the Tower of London. Nearest tube stations: Tower Hill or Aldgate East.
We privately tour this stunning and unique Grade II-listed building to discover its fascinating history and learn about the recently completed repairs and renovations project that won the RIBA London Conservation Award 2016.
£26 (includes coffee, tea and biscuits). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 10am.
Enjoy a private visit to the beautiful Kelmscott Manor, the country home of William Morris, with a specially arranged opportunity to see Morris’s personal books.
£88 (includes coach, two course lunch, glass of wine, tea and cake). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet at The Savile Club, 69 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4ER
A rare opportunity to tour this quintessential private members’ club and learn about its colourful and fascinating history.
£30 (includes coffee, tea and biscuits on arrival). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, W1J
The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active biological society. Enjoy a talk on the history of the society and view treasures from the specimens and documents in the strongroom.
£24. Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet at Vintners' Hall, Upper Thames Street, London, EC4. The entrance to the Hall is on the corner of Queen Street and Upper Thames Street, on the north side of Southwark Bridge
One of the twelve Great Livery Companies, for centuries Vintners’ Hall has been known for its involvement in the importation, regulation and sale of wine.
£32 (includes glass of wine). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet at the Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF. Nearest station: London Bridge.
Join fellow Friends for a lively evening at the Fashion and Textile Museum’s ‘1920s Jazz Age Fashion & Photographs’ exhibition with an introductory talk from the curator.
£28. Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet in the entrance hall of Blackfriars tube station, at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge
To mark the 400th year since the death of William Shakespeare, join fellow Friends for this fascinating walking tour of sites where the Bard sold his plays around Bankside and Blackfriars.
£60 (includes two-course set lunch, glass of wine, coffee/tea and entrance to the Rose Playhouse). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Jonathon Jones, the botanist and MD of Tregothnan Trading, has pioneered growing camelia sinensis (tea bush) in the UK. In this talk, he tells the story of how Tregothnan came to grow the most British tea in history. The discussion will be followed by a tea tasting.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, the Keeper's House
As his book of conversations with David Hockney RA is published, critic Martin Gayford discusses art – and the art of interviewing artists – with Sam Phillips, editor of RA Magazine.
£15, includes a welcome drink.
Follow the journey from seeds to bouquets, in this exploration of the world of seasonal British floristry. Discover the challenges of growing, picking and arranging seasonal floristry year-round.
£19, booking required.
Friends are invited to join us for the East End Film Festival’s second season at the Royal Academy, with the theme of artists and adversity. Here, Anne Wivel explores the challenges faced by an artist whose illness renders him unable to work.
Join coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 9am.
Join Friends of the RA for an all day visit to Newmarket’s brand new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art, which includes a talk by the centre’s director.
£99 (includes coach, coffee, two-course lunch, glass of wine, tea and cake). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
The National Gallery; meet in the Conference Room, first floor of the Sainsbury Wing.
Join fellow RA Friends for a private morning lecture on the ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ exhibition at the National Gallery, given by art historian and Caravaggio specialist Sian Walters.
£58 (includes coffee, tea and biscuits, private lecture, exhibition entry and audio guide). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
St Paul's Cathedral, EC4. Meet on the steps of the West Portico. Nearest tube station: St Paul's.
Explore areas of the building not normally seen by the public on this private Triforium tour of St Paul’s Cathedral.
£36. Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Main galleries and Sackler galleries, Burlington House
Taking inspiration from the theatrical, the satirical and the macabre in the art of James Ensor, we invite Friends to join a Private View themed on ‘Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans’. Experience an eclectic evening of live music and entertainment, and a taste of Belgium’s famed cuisine in the Keeper’s House.
Meet at HSBQ HQ, 8 Canada Square, E14.
Learn more about the role and scope of corporate art collections by joining Friends on this private tour of HSBC’s fabulous art collection.
£30 (includes glass of wine and nibbles). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Meet at 37 Spital Square, E1.
Join fellow Friends for a talk about the history and work of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings by Director Matthew, followed by a tour of the society’s wonderful Huguenot-era building in Spital Square.
£30 (includes glass of wine). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 9am.
Our festive tour this year takes us once again to the magnificent Penshurst Place, home to kings and noblemen for over 650 years. This year’s visit includes a special tour of St John the Baptist Church at Penshurst.
£94 (includes coach, coffee, lunch, glass of wine, tea & mince pies). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
John Madjeski Fine Rooms at Burlington House, followed by a carol service at St James's Church, Piccadilly
Please join us for our Friends Christmas Carols evening beginning with a drinks reception at Burlington House, followed by carols and festive readings by Royal Academicians and special guests at St James’s Church, Piccadilly.
£37 (includes drinks reception and carol service), £20 (includes carol service only). Booking required, Patrons and Friends only.
Royal Academy of Arts
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932
before it is open to the public. 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.
The Sackler Wing, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of ‘America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s’ before it is open to the public. 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.
Free, booking recommended. Friends only.