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Christmas gift membership
Gift membership is the perfect gift for art lovers.
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.
● Fully booked
Meet at 10 St Ann’s Street, SW1
The City of Westminster Archive Centre houses a rare and extensive collection relating to Westminster past and present.
£17. Friends only.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts
Friends Film Club presents the UK debut of ‘China Now: Independent Visions’, curated by Cinema on the Edge. The daring spirit and creative innovation of independent filmmakers is celebrated in this screening of animated short films from mainland China, showcasing the best of recent Chinese independent cinema.
£12 (including popcorn and a drink). Friends only.
Meet on Piccadilly near the RA for coach
Our festive tour this year takes us to the magnificent Penshurst Place which has been home to kings and noblemen for over 650 years.
£90. Friends only.
Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
Thank you for being a Friend of the Royal Academy. Your support in 2015 has enabled the RA to stage an ambitious and exciting exhibition programme including the provocative and visionary works of Ai Weiwei.
Free, booking recommended. Friends only.
The Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts
Make your own Christmas decorations or personal gift in this special festive workshop hosted by Poppy’s Papercuts.
£35 (including a drink). Friends only.
Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine while you make your own Christmas Wreath in this festive masterclass with Jo Woodward from Columbia Creative.
£45 (including materials and a drink). Friends only.
Main Galleries, and the John Madejski Fine Rooms, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
Relax after a visit to Ai Weiwei with a glass of sparkling wine in a luxury lounge just for Friends of the RA during our first ever, round-the-clock 56 hour opening during the final weekend of Ai Weiwei.
£15 when booked in advance, £20 on the door. Friends only.
Royal Academy of Arts and St James's Church, Piccadilly, W1
Please join us for our Christmas Carols evening at St James’s Church, Piccadilly with festive readings by Royal Academicians and special guests including the journalist, TV and radio presenter Mariella Frostrup, favourite carols for all to sing and additional choral splendour from the chamber choir, Vivamus.
£35 / £20. Friends only.
Meet at 40 Beeches Avenue, Carshalton, SM5
Friends tour the Arts and Crafts-style Little Holland House in Carshalton Beeches, which was the home of the artist and designer Frank Dickinson (1874–1961).
£19. Friends only.
Meet outside Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Street, London, EC2N
Archivist Penny Fussell leads our special tour of Drapers’ Hall, which has some of the most sumptuous interiors of all the Livery Halls in London.
£27 (including coffee on arrival). Friends only.
Meet at the Lord’s Tavern, St John’s Wood Road, NW8
Friends tour Lord’s cricket ground with curator Adam Chadwick, who introduces us to the club’s fascinating collection of cricket-related paintings, including portraits of some of the game’s best-known figures, past and present.
£32 (including coffee at the Lord’s Tavern on arrival). Friends only.
Meet at house entrance, Pall Mall, SW1
Friends tour Marlborough House, a former Royal residence, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and his son and completed in 1711.
£21. Friends only.
Meet outside Walbrook entrance, Bank, EC4
Friends visit Mansion House, which is one of the grandest surviving Georgian town palaces in London.
£27. Friends only.
Friends enjoy a visit to the Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village, as well as Limnerslease, artist G. F. Watts’ Arts and Crafts style winter residence.
£55 (including coach, tea and cake). Friends only.
Meet at the St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London, EC4Y
Join us for a special private tour of the St Bride Library, which is currently closed to the public, and a rare chance to view some of the highlights from this unique collection.
£23. Friends only.
Meet at the Supreme Court, Parliament Square, Little George St, SW1P
Friends visit the Supreme Court, which started life as the Middlesex Guildhall in 1913, and is a skilful blend of contemporary construction techniques and unusual Gothic style.
Meet at Great Gate entrance, Bodleian Library, Catte St, Oxford OX1
Friends tour the Bodleian Library (the main research library of the University of Oxford) and the Ashmolean Museum, which houses the University’s Art Collection and numerous other treasures.
£77 (including two course lunch with wine and coffee). Friends only.
Meet at Morley College main entrance, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1
Nick Rampley, Vice Principal of Morley College, leads our popular tour of the college’s exceptional art collection, which also includes a look at some fascinating artefacts from the College Library.
Join fellow Friends for a day out in Cookham, as we privately visit the John Lewis Heritage Centre for a talk on the company’s history and textile collection, followed by a private tour of the Stanley Spencer Gallery.
£87 (including coach, coffee, lunch, glass of wine, tea, cake). Friends only.
Meet outside Mornington Crescent tube station, 88 Eversholt Street, Kings Cross, NW1
In the late 19th century the area around Euston, known as Somers Town, was one of London’s worst slums. The area underwent a radical transformation in the 1930’s through the vision of Fr Basil Jellicoe and our tour explores this historic area before plans are implemented to transform it again.
Meet outside South Kensington tube station, (opposite Pret a Manger); SW7
This guided walk tells the story of Prince Albert’s vision for a cultural and educational enclave to be financed by the profits of the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Enjoy a guided walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, focusing on the architecture of the major sporting venues and a selection of the many artworks on the site, including the UK’s tallest sculpture, Anish Kapoor’s ‘Orbit’.
£60 (including coach, tea, cake). Friends only.
Meet outside Holland Park tube station, W11
From the ruins of Holland House to a traditional Japanese garden, Holland Park is a fascinating and underexplored London park.