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, Piccadilly
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.
Free, booking required.
Meet at Main Gate, Hampton Court Palace, KT8. Full directions with ticket.
Friends of the RA enjoy a curator’s talk and tour of the Royal School of Needlework, based in Hampton Court Palace, followed by a historical and textile-related tour of Hampton Court.
£92. Includes pub lunch with coffee.
Meet at Armourers’ Hall, 81 Coleman St, EC2R
Friends privately tour the home of the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Braziers, viewing the company’s exceptional collection of Tudor art and armour.
£28. Includes coffee.
West Norwood, London SE27. Full directions with ticket.
Get an intimate glimpse of the working studio of Royal Academician Humphrey Ocean, Professor of Perspective at the RA Schools, as he opens his studio to a small group of Friends of the RA.
£30, includes tea and biscuits.
The Sir Hugh Casson Room for Friends, The Keeper's House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
Tregothnan and The Trafalgar St. James Hotel collaborate for a workshop on 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.
£55. Includes five cocktails.
Meet the RA representative in the entrance hall of Blackfriars underground station, on the north side of Blackfriars Bridge.
Join fellow Friends for a fascinating walking tour of Bankside and Blackfriars. See where the Bard sold his plays, then pay a visit the site of the historic Rose Playhouse.
£60. Includes a light lunch, glass of wine, coffee/tea and entry to the Rose Playhouse.
Weston Rooms, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of the ‘Dalí / Duchamp’ exhibition before it is open to the public.
Army & Navy Club, 36-39 Pall Mall, St James's London SW1Y
Join us for a private tour of the Army & Navy Club, affectionately known as the “The Rag”.
£30. Includes coffee/tea/biscuits on arrival.
Meet at Lambeth Palace, corner of 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.
£30. Includes tea.
Meet at Great Gate entrance, Bodleian Library, Catte St, Oxford OX1 (Guests to make own travel arrangements to Oxford)
Join Friends in Oxford for a tour of the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, as well as a viewing of rare artworks in the Ashmolean Museum collection.
£78. Includes two-course lunch with wine and coffee.
Meet at Goldsmiths' Hall, Foster Lane, London, EC2V
Dave Merry, hallmarking expert at the Goldsmiths’ Company, draws upon his 46 years of experience to lead this special Friends tour, which will take a detailed look at the various methods of testing precious metals, both ancient and modern.
£42. Includes goody bag.
A tour of Shropshire’s finest private houses and collections, curated by the RA Friends’ events team for the Academy’s Friends and Patrons.
The Sir Hugh Casson Room for Friends, the Keeper's House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
Join us for a wine tasting inspired by our exhibitions focusing on American art, including Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’.
£40. Includes tastings of six to seven wines.
To coincide with our celebration of the great American artist Jasper Johns, we take you on an exploration of the evolving world of American craft chocolate, pairing each choice with carefully selected wines.
£40. Includes ten chocolates and five wine tastings. Friends and Academicians' Room members only.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at the time stated on the ticket.
Join Friends for a tour of Layer Marney Tower, the tallest Tudor Gatehouse in the country, and the Warner Textile Archive, a vast collection of over 100,000 textiles from around the world.
£95. Includes coach, coffee, two-course set lunch, wine, tea and cake.
Meet at SPAB, 37 Spital Square, London E1
Join fellow Friends for a talk about the history and work of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings by Director Matthew Slocombe, followed by a tour of the society’s wonderful Huguenot-era building in Spital Square.
£33. Includes drinks and nibbles.
St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4M. Meet RA representative on the steps of the West Portico.
Our guided tour of the contemporary art on display in St Paul’s Cathedral includes Bill Viola’s ‘Martyrs’ and a brand-new water installation arriving in early October.
£30. Includes entry to St Paul's Cathedral.
Meet at Royal Automobile Club, 89 Pall Mall, London SW1Y
This highly exclusive tour with Club librarian Trevor Dunmore for RA Friends will take in the magnificent grandeur of the club, designed by architects Mewes and Davis.
Royal Opera House, Bow St, London WC2E
We are pleased to offer this behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal Opera House especially created for RA Friends, which includes a post-tour talk on their ambitious building project, ‘OPEN UP’.
£30. Includes light refreshments.
Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, London W10. Full directions with ticket.
Join us for a guided tour of the atmospheric Kensal Green Cemetery, the first of the large garden cemeteries to be built in London.
£22. Includes coffee/tea/biscuits.
Meet at Crosby Hall, Chelsea Embankment, between Beaufort Street and Danvers Street, London SW3
Friends have a very rare opportunity to visit Crosby Hall, described by Country Life as “the most important surviving secular domestic medieval building in London”.
£60. Includes light refreshments.
Meet at HSBC, 8 Canada Square, London E14
Join Friends on this private tour of the intriguingly diverse art collection owned by HSBC, led by the Art Manager and an expert from Sotheby’s.
The Life Room, Royal Academy Schools
This exclusive evening event will take you on a journey of operatic excellence in the RA’s historic Life Drawing Room.
£95. Includes drinks reception, limited-edition original print and programme created by RA Schools Student, Hamish Pearch
Meet at Hall, Dunster Court, Mincing Lane, London EC3
Join Friends for this tour of Clothworkers’ Hall, one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London.
Christmas starts at the Royal Academy with a glass of sparkling wine and a luxury Christmas wreath-making workshop, using fresh foliage from the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall.
£45. Includes wreath-making and a glass of sparkling wine.
Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
Be enchanted by the Royal Academy at Christmas, with private views of ‘Jasper Johns’ and ‘Dalí / Duchamp’, jazz music, late-night shopping, complimentary gift wrapping and Christmas treats.
£40 VIP / £20 standard
PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 7 More London Riverside, London SE1
With kind permission of the PwC partnership, we are able to offer a special introduction to PwC’s art collection and a tour of the art on display at their building, 7 More London Riverside SE1, designed by Foster + Partners.
£30. Includes drinks and nibbles.
Join the coach on Piccadilly outside the RA. Please note that the coach will leave promptly at 12:30pm.
Friends enjoy a private tour of Dorney Court, one of England’s most uniquely beautiful Tudor Manor Houses, as well as the small 12th-century church of St James the Less.
£65. Includes mince pies and a festive glass of homemade wine.
Meet at Black Rod's entrance, Houses of Parliament, SW1A. Directions will be included with your ticket.
Friends exclusively tour the Parliamentary Archives, learning about the process of the continuing preservation of the records of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Friends of the RA are invited to win a place at a free life-drawing class in the RA Schools, led by a special guest tutor.
Free, admission via ballot.
St James's Church, Piccadilly, W1J
Please join us for our annual Friends Christmas Carols evening at St James’s Church, Piccadilly with festive readings by Royal Academicians and special guests.
We invite Friends of the RA to join us for an exclusive preview of the ‘Charles I: King and Collector’ before it is open to the public.
The Reynolds Room, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
The Philharmonia Orchestra comprises some of the world’s finest orchestral players. Join them at the RA for an evening of sparkling symphonies, performed with creativity, innovation and fearless virtuosity, followed by a private view of ‘Charles I’.
£80. Includes reception with drinks and canapés, concert and private view.