“There shall be an Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculptures and Designs, which shall be open to all Artists of distinguished Merit.”
This quote, from our Instrument of Foundation, captures what the Summer Exhibition is all about: opening our galleries up to the finest artistic talents of the day, selected purely on merit.
It is the world’s largest open entry exhibition, and has taken place every year since 1769.
Each year, we have thousands of entries in all styles and media. These are narrowed down by a team of Royal Academicians to around 1,000 works for the final show.
This British institution is a highlight of the social calendar. Its many traditions include a celebratory parade down Piccadilly before the doors open to the public, and the serving of restorative beef tea during the hanging.