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 outside the main entrance to Temple Church, Temple, EC4Y
Discover the history of the late 12th-century Temple Church, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. Afterwards, enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour and three-course lunch at 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.
Shop 8, Old Truman Brewery, London E1. Full directions will be sent with tickets.
A former First Artist of the Royal Ballet and author of several acclaimed photography books, Andre Uspenski introduces his work at this special evening event.
£25. Includes drinks and canapes
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.
£28. Includes coffee.
The Sir Hugh Casson Room for Friends, The Keeper's House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, Charles Saumarez Smith hosts a talk on the inspiration behind his new book ‘East London’; an engagingly informal insider’s guide to the streets of the East End, from Spitalfields to Stratford.
£15, includes welcome drink.
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.
Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
To celebrate the launch of Friends week, join us for a night of live music, American wine tasting and a private view of our blockbuster exhibition ‘America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s’. A collection of Sir Hugh Casson PRA’s sketchbooks will also be on display, revealed to the public for the first time.
£25. Includes a welcome drink, American wine tasting and a slice of artisan pizza. 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.
Friends of the RA are invited to join leading art law expert Pierre Valentin and Head of Academic Programmes at the RA, Dr. Anna Dempster, in conversation to reflect on key opportunities and challenges faced when managing artists’ estates and legacies. The conversation will be relevant for artists and their families as well as representatives, patrons and collectors.
£15. Includes post-event 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.
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.
£40. 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 RA 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.
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.
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.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 9am.
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, Mali Morris RA, 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.
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of ‘Jasper Johns’ before it is open to the public. Jasper Johns is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and has remained central to American contemporary art since his arrival in New York in the 1950s.