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John Constable RA
Richard Rogers RA
Sandra Blow RA
Wolfgang Tillmans RA
Cornelia Parker RA
Grayson Perry RA
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 the fountains in Russell Square, WC1
Join Friends on this guided walking tour exploring Bloomsbury’s rich Art Deco heritage, including Charles Holden’s iconic Senate House, the former Daimler car hire garage and a reconverted petrol station.
£24. Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at Charterhouse Square, EC1
Led by one of the Brothers of Charterhouse, our popular annual tour of this historic palace includes the Courts, Great Hall, Library, Great Chamber and Chapel.
£29 (including tea and biscuits). Booking required, Friends only.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, the Keeper's House
Jonathon Jones, Managing Director of Tregothnan, and Sam Rosen Nash, Grocery Buyer at Fortnum &
Mason, will co-host a discussion about urban vs. rural honey, followed by a tasting of
speciality honey produce.
£12. Booking required, Friends only.
Join us for the inaugural Friends Summer Party to celebrate the annual Summer Exhibition. Guests will enjoy an exclusive Private View of the exhibition away from the crowds with a range of live music, cocktails and a courtyard BBQ.
£25 (BBQ meal included); £15 (entry only)
Tottenham Court Road, directions with ticket
Friends go behind-the-scenes with one of the curators to see a range of works and discover how the art is selected and conserved for government buildings in the UK and around the world.
£30 (including wine & nibbles). Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at Palace, Lambeth Palace Rd, SE1 (opposite Lambeth Bridge)
Friends privately tour Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, with its 13th-century vaulted crypt and Tudor gatehouse.
£29 (including tea). Booking required, Friends only.
The Sir Hugh Casson Room, Burlington House
Enjoy exclusive access to a Friends Lounge during Summer Saturdays, our late
opening of the Summer Exhibition 2016. Hear from DJs while you indulge in fresh, summer
aperitivo and cocktails.
Free, no booking required
Meet at chapel, Pearson Square, off Mortimer St, W1
Join us for a unique opportunity to view the exquisite, recently restored, Grade II listed Fitzrovia Chapel with the project’s senior architect and lead conservationist as they tell us about the Chapel’s history and what was involved in its £3 million restoration.
£22. Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at Stable Yard, St James's, London SW1
By popular demand, we return to Lancaster House for a private guided tour with expert curator Dr James Yorke.
An arts and craft workshop for the Friends of the RA, inspired by the Hockney portraits.
Create an Art on A4 with experienced art educators while enjoying a fresh buffet
breakfast, followed by a Private View of the Summer Exhibition and David Hockney: 82
Portraits and 1 Still-life.
£25 (includes workshop, breakfast and Private View)
Meet on Piccadilly near the RA for coach
Home to the Proby family since 1660, Elton Hall contains a magnificent art collection which includes Old Master and Pre-Raphaelite paintings, family portraits by Reynolds, Hoppner and Romney, and works by Millais and Turner.
£82 (including coach, lunch, cream tea). Booking required, Friends only.
Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts
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, Lucy Walker’s 2011 ‘Waste Land’ explores the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit.
£12 (including popcorn and a drink). Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at 62–66 Bermondsey St, SE1
Situated in the heart of Bermondsey Street, Peter Layton’s London hot glass studio has a reputation as one of Europe’s leading glassmaking workshops. Friends are invited for a fascinating live demonstration of the art of glassblowing.
£30 (including wine/nibbles). Booking required, Friends only.
The Sir Hugh Casson Room, The Keeper's House
Join us for an exclusive programme of events exploring the Burlington House courtyard
societies. Discover how each society makes its individual impact in the area of art,
history or science.
Sackler Galleries, Burlington House
The Friends Private Views of “David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life” will give
you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Hockney’s work and technique
through hourly spotlight talks by an art historian. These exclusive Friends events will
include live music and delicious food and cocktails in the Keeper’s House.
Free, booking essential. 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.
Meet at 27 St James's Place, SW1
Friends privately tour Spencer House, built between 1756-1766 for John, first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales. It is one of London’s finest surviving eighteenth-century town houses.
£26. Booking required, Friends only.
We are delighted to offer two special tours in Cambridge, especially devised for RA Friends.
£120 (including executive coach, coffee, lunch). Booking required, Friends only.
Meet at city information centre opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, (directions with ticket)
Join guide Karen Chester on a walk that delves deep into the features of the City: plaques, signs and statues, heraldry and hagiography.
£27 (including tea break with biscuits). 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.
Meet at Two Temple Place, off Embankment, WC2R
Friends tour Two Temple Place, an extraordinary late Victorian mansion, commissioned by William Waldorf Astor and designed by neo-Gothic architect John Loughborough Pearson.
Meet at The Trafalgar Room, off the National Gallery’s café
Join us for a very special behind-the-scenes tour at the National Gallery with Head of Art Handling Patrick O’Sullivan.
£55 (including coffee/biscuits on arrival). Booking required, Friends only.
Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of ‘Abstract Expressionism’ before it is open to the public. Abstract Expressionism will forever be associated with the energy and vibrancy of 1950s New York. Artists like Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning injected a new sense of confidence in painting, experimenting with improvisation, spontaneity and colour.
Free, booking recommended. Friends only.
Meet at museum, 399 High St, Brentford, TW8
Friends enjoy a private tour of the delightfully quirky Musical Museum with its curator, including demonstrations of some of the rarer instruments, followed by a private concert of organ music from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
£27 (including tea and cake). Booking required, Friends only.
The Sackler Wing and Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
We invite you to join us for an evening Private View of ‘Abstract Expressionism’ and ‘David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life’. This exclusive Friends event will also include live music until late.
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. This film by Zachary Heinzerling poses poverty against creativity, and examines the reality of producing art as a living.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.