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.
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John Constable RA
Richard Rogers RA
Sandra Blow RA
Wolfgang Tillmans RA
Cornelia Parker RA
Grayson Perry RA
● Fully booked
Meet at Whitechapel Bell Foundry, 32-34 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1DY. Additional information will be provided with your ticket.
Join Friends as we tour the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, famous for the design and manufacture of the Liberty Bell in 1752 and Big Ben in 1858.
£30. Friends only.
Meet at the Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square, Islington, N1 2AN. Nearest tube: Highbury & Islington, Victoria line and National Rail overground.
As ‘Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932’ opens at the RA, join us for this unique opportunity to find out more about the revolutionary developments of the Futurist Movement in Italy during the same period of time.
Meet at National Archives, Bessant Drive, Kew, TW9.
Friends enjoy an exclusive tour of the National Archives, where government records are collected and secured for future generations.
Meet at The Monument, Fish Street Hill, London EC3. Nearest tube: Monument.
2016 marked the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. Our walk traces its fiery destruction as it burned for four days and four nights, destroying 80% of medieval London.
Main galleries, Burlington House.
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, we invite Friends to explore one of the most momentous periods in modern history with an evening of art historian-led exhibition tours, live Russian music and a taste of Russia’s famed cuisine.
£25. Includes welcome drink.
Meet in the National Gallery Dining Room, Sainsbury Wing (first floor).
In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’ve planned a guided tour with National Gallery lecturer and art historian, Siân Walters. The tour traces the fascinating role of women as patrons and painters, from the medieval period to the 19th century, as illustrated through the National Gallery’s collection.
£35. Includes coffee, tea and homemade biscuits on arrival.
Meet at the Travellers Club, 106 Pall Mall, London, SW1. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus.
By special arrangement, Friends are invited to tour the Travellers Club; the oldest surviving Pall Mall club, established in 1819.
£30. Includes coffee/tea on arrival. Smart dress code applies.
The Sir Hugh Casson Room for Friends, The Keeper's House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, we explore wines of Russian provenance and the influence of the region’s most prolific winemakers in other parts of the world. Join us for one or both events, in a two-part series of tastings, inspired by the powerful exhibition ‘Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932’.
£40. Includes 6 – 7 wine tastings. Friends and supporters only.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper’s House
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.
Meet at Grant Museum, 21 University Street, WC1E.
Join Friends of the RA on this visit to two of the quirkiest museums of University College London: the Grant Museum of Zoology and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.
Delve into Belgium’s renowned brewing culture and sample a range of specialty beers at this tasting masterclass for Friends.
£25. Friends and supporters only.
Meet near Canary Wharf station; full directions with ticket.
Join Friends on this walking tour of Canary Wharf, where we view some of its most iconic buildings and see highlights of the ever-growing collection of public art dotted around the walkways of this financial metropolis.
Meet at UCL Art Museum; full directions with ticket.
Explore UCL Art Museum’s collection along with fellow Friends of the RA on this guided tour with the museum’s curator. The collection contains over 10,000 objects including paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture, dating from 1490 to the present day.
£28. Includes coffee.
Riedel introduces the art of glass tasting, in a Champagne masterclass. Discover how the shape of a Champagne flute can change the taste, while enjoying fresh oysters from Celtic Fish and Game, who have been sourcing fresh shellfish, fish and game from Cornwall for over 40 years.
£95. Includes tasting and set of four Riedel glasses. Friends only.
Meet at London Transport Museum Depot, 2 Museum Way, Acton, London, W3. Nearest tube: Acton Town.
Join us on our behind-the-scenes tour of the London Transport Museum’s selection of delightful and nostalgic posters, which reveal a fascinating journey through a century of art and design.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 9am.
Join Friends of the RA as we privately visit the magnificent Woburn Abbey, which houses one of the most important private art collections in the world.
£125. Includes coffee, lunch with a glass of wine and tea and cake.
Sackler and Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
In the devastating wake of the Wall Street Crash, artists sought to capture the rapid social change and economic anxiety creating some of the 20th century’s most powerful art. We invite Friends to explore the story of a nation in flux through an evening of art historian-led exhibition tours, live jazz music, swing dancing and moonshine from the Grand Café’s speak-easy.
The Life Room, Royal Academy Schools
Cathie Pilkington RA introduces her new installation, ‘Life Room: Anatomy of A Doll’, at an evening private view and drinks reception for Friends of the RA.
£15. Includes welcome drink.
Meet at National Liberal Club, 1 Whitehall Pl, London SW1A
Established by W. E. Gladstone in 1882, the National Liberal Club is the home of British Liberalism. Friends of the RA are invited to tour this private members’ club designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse RA.
Pearson Square, off Mortimer Street, W1T
Join Friends of the RA for a private tour of this stunning grade II-listed chapel, in the heart of London’s historic Fitrovia.
£23. Includes coffee, tea and biscuits.
Meet in the front hall of Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
By very special arrangement, Lady Juliet Tadgell leads a guided tour of her home, Bourne Park. The tour will focus on her art collection, which features magnificent works by Stubbs and Reynolds as well as a collection of Old Masters.
£150. Includes coach, coffee, lunch, tea and cake.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 9am
Tour Stonor Park, one of England’s oldest surviving Manor Houses, and discover its Old Master drawings, European bronzes and 17th-century Flemish tapestries.
£85. Includes morning coffee and biscuits, a two-course lunch with wine, tea and cake.
Meet outside the main entrance to Temple Church, Temple, EC4Y
Discover the history of Temple Church, one of only three Norman round churches left in England, followed by a tour and three-course lunch at nearby Middle Temple Hall.
£70. Includes three-course lunch with wine, tours and a donation to Temple Church
Meet at the Conference Room on the first floor of the Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery, WC2N
Join Friends of the RA for a private lecture on the National Gallery’s blockbuster exhibition, ‘Michelangelo & Sebastiano’, followed by timed entry to the exhibition.
£60. Includes private lecture, timed exhibition entry and audio guide.
Meet in Dalston, E8; full directions with ticket.
By popular demand, we returns to the showroom and home of Meg Andrews, a dealer in rare and antique textiles. Meg’s collection includes Charles II embroidery, Morris & Co. textiles and designs by artist John Piper and designer Terence Conran.
Meet at Portcullis House, north end of Westminster Bridge. Full details with ticket.
By special arrangement we are delighted to offer a private guided tour for Friends of the RA of the House of Commons’ contemporary portrait collection, displayed at Portcullis House.
£57. Includes champagne and nibbles.
Full details in brochure
We are pleased to offer a five-day all-inclusive excursion to Cardiff and South Wales, which has been specially curated for the Friends of the Royal Academy.
The Academicians' Room, The Keeper's House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
Join Archivist Mark Pomeroy and Head of the RA Library Adam Waterton as they uncover some of the most treasured items from the RA Collection. This Friends week tour will highlight key pieces from the colourful history of the Friends of the RA.
£25. Includes tea and coffee in the Academicians' Room and a donation to support the redevelopment of the Royal Academy. Friends only.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 10.30am.
Our tour of this delightful medieval and Tudor manor house will be given by the present owner, Robert Spencer Bernard, whose family has lived here for over 450 years.
£82. Includes a two-course lunch with a glass of wine, tea, coffee and homemade cake.
The Reynolds Room, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
Join Mick O’Halloran, Chief Red Collar, to hear the history of the Red Collars and the importance of their relationship with Royal Academicians, Friends, staff and visitors.
£10. Includes tea and coffee reception. Friends only.
The RA is currently undergoing one of the biggest physical changes in its 249-year history. This Friends Week, take a behind-the-scenes hard-hat tour of our development. This is a unique opportunity to see the construction in progress and learn more about the RA’s future.
£25. Includes refreshments in the Academicians’ Room before the tour.
Learn more about the magazine’s editorial process and inner workings in this conversation with Sam Phillips, the Editor of RA Magazine and Anna Coatman, Assistant Editor.
Art handler Simon Streather will reveal the technical secrets behind this fascinating role and how an exhibition comes to life at the RA.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
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. Includes Spiegelau glass set
Library and Academicians' Room Green Sofa, Burlington House, Piccadilly.
See a part of the RA usually hidden behind closed doors – Britain’s oldest fine-art school. Jonathan Stubbs, the Schools Capital Campaigns Manager, will take you on a fascinating tour and reveal this hub of artistic activity.
15 Garrick Street, WC2
Founded in 1831, this exclusive private members club houses the largest and most significant collection of British theatrical works of art.
£36. Includes coffee, tea and biscuits.
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.
£60. Includes breakfast and tour.
Join us in the Academicians’ Room for a taste of the Balearic islands, with a special menu of Balearic-inspired tapas dishes and music mixed by our guest DJ.
£20. Includes tapas.
Meet in the courtyard at Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J
On this private tour led by one of the fellows of the Society of Antiquaries, Friends will view a rich collection, admire intriguing interiors and learn about the history of one of the UK’s oldest learned societies.
£28. Includes coffee.
Meet on the steps of the West Portico, St Paul's Cathedral, EC4.
Explore areas of the building not normally seen by the public on this private Triforium tour of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Meet outside Bermondsey Tube Station, SE1
Our Friends walking tour of the area around Rotherhithe, led by representatives from the Brunel Museum, will explore the history of this unique riverside area and its connection to engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Meet at Skinners' Hall, 8 1/2 Dowgate Hill, EC4R
Friends have a rare opportunity to tour Skinners’ Hall, the home of the Worshipful Company of Skinners.
Meet at the garden entrance, Royal Hospital Rd, SW3
Friends enjoy a tour of Chelsea Physic Garden, the historic walled garden of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, as well as a handling session of rare botanical books from the Garden’s library.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 12.30pm
Southill has been the private home of the Whitbread family for over 200 years. Friends are invited on a special tour of their house and gardens (not often open to the public) with the current owner Mr Charles Whitbread and archivist James Collet-White.
£65. Includes tea and homemade cake.
Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of the ‘Summer Exhibition 2017’ before it is open to the public.
Free, booking required.
Near Kingston-upon-Thames, KT2. Full directions with ticket
Join us as we privately visit the former home of art collector Stanley Picker (1913–1982) to explore the paintings, sculptures and objects he gathered throughout his lifetime.
£30. Includes coffee, tea and biscuits.
Meet at 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R
The London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) hold a vast and diverse collection of archives, records, images, films, maps and over 10,000 books, covering all aspects of the prolific history of our amazing capital.
Meet at Southside House, Wimbledon. Full directions with ticket.
Friends enjoy evening drinks and a private curator-led tour of Southside House, a wonderfully eccentric mansion described by Simon Jenkins as a “not a work of art, but something more precious”.
£32. Includes glass of prosecco.
Friends of the RA tour Rodmarton Manor, a house crafted in true accordance with the Arts and Crafts movement, even down to the furniture.
£85. Includes coach, coffee, lunch, a glass of wine and tea.
Meet at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. Full directions with ticket
Join Friends of the RA for a tour of this extraordinary and unparalleled collection of contemporary art by female artists, featuring works by Eileen Cooper RA, Barbara Hepworth, Paula Rego and Maggi Hambling.
£72. Includes morning coffee and a two-course lunch with wine.
Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of ‘Matisse in the Studio’ before it is open to the public. Step into the studio of Henri Matisse, brimming with the artist’s treasured objects.