You’ll find media kits for all our exhibitions below. We also use www.picselect.com so that you can download all our press images directly. Please register there for a free account, and contact us if there’s anything else you need to inform your editorial.
News from the Academy
From the appointment of new Academicians to the latest updates on the Academy’s redevelopment plans, this is where you’ll find all our news announcements.
Filming and photography agreements
We are always happy to hear from you if you would like to arrange a shoot with us, but as a working art institution we cannot always accommodate every request for filming and photography.
Filming and photography is always allowed during exhibition press views and we can also arrange out of hours access for crews, although you will need to avoid filming while we are open to the public from 10am - 6pm.
Please make sure that all filming and photography is pre-arranged with the press office beforehand.
We have dedicated press viewings for every exhibition. After the press view, our galleries remain open to all AICA, NUJ, Critics’ Circle and CIoJ card holders until two weeks before the exhibition closing date. We also offer discretionary access to working journalists who are covering our exhibitions, get in touch to find out more.
N.B. During the last two weeks of an exhibition we are unable to offer press passes.
Forthcoming Exhibition Programme
Details of the RA’s 2016 Programme can be downloaded from media kits below.
The Royal Academy of Arts will present the first major exhibition of James Ensor’s (1860-1949) work to be held in the UK in twenty years. One of Belgium’s most prominent modernist artists, Ensor was widely considered to be an important precursor of Expressionism. Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans will bring together some 70 paintings, drawings and prints by the artist, the vast majority of which have been drawn from major Belgian collections. The exhibition will be curated by the renowned contemporary painter and one of Belgium’s foremost artists, Luc Tuymans, who will bring a fresh perspective to the selection and presentation of Ensor’s work.
In September 2016, the Royal Academy of Arts will present the first major exhibition of Abstract Expressionism to be held in the UK in almost six decades. With over 150 paintings, sculptures and photographs from public and private collections across the world, this ambitious exhibition encompasses masterpieces by the most acclaimed American artists associated with the movement – among them, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Phillip Guston, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Aaron Siskind, David Smith and Clyfford Still, as well as lesser-known but no less vital artists.
John Gibson RA: A British Sculptor in Rome will present over 30 rarely-exhibited works by the neoclassical artist John Gibson RA (1790-1866) who, during his lifetime, was one of Britain’s leading sculptors. On display will be marble sculptures, plaster casts, plaster reliefs and drawings that were shown in Gibson’s studio during the height of his career. Despite the artist’s prominence at the time, he is little-known today. To coincide with the 150th anniversary of Gibson’s death, the exhibition will highlight a selection of artworks from his significant bequest to the Royal Academy of Arts. John Gibson RA: A British Sculptor in Rome will be the first exhibition to focus solely on Gibson’s output, tracing his journey to becoming one of the best-known sculptors of his day.
David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life is an intimate exhibition of recent portraits by the Royal Academician David Hockney, revisiting the genre that has played such a major part across his long career. Vibrant, observant and full of life, these paintings, which Hockney considers as one body of work, have all been executed over the last two and a half years in the artist’s Los Angeles studio.
In February 2017, to commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the Royal Academy of Arts will present Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 1932. This landmark exhibition will focus on a momentous period in Russian history between 1917, the year of the October Revolution, and 1932 when Stalin began his violent suppression of the Avant-Garde. The exhibition will feature Avant-Garde artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky, Malevich and Tatlin alongside the Socialist Realism of Brodsky, Deineka, Mukhina and Samokhvalov, amongst others. Photography, sculpture, film, posters and porcelain will be featured alongside paintings. It will present this unique period in the history of Russian art, when for fifteen years, barriers were opened and the possibilities for building a new proletarian art for the new Soviet State were extensive.
The Royal Academy of Arts celebrates The Queen’s 90th birthday with an awards ceremony recognising figures in the visual arts and architecture
London, 28 September 2016: On Tuesday 11 October 2016, the Royal Academy of Arts will celebrate the role of their Royal Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in her ninetieth year with a reception and an awards ceremony. The Queen will be accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh.
Held in the Fine Rooms at the Royal Academy, the awards ceremony will recognise five individuals who have made a national contribution as practitioners or educators in the fields of visual arts or architecture. The awardees have been nominated by five Royal Academicians; Chantal Joffe, Farshid Moussavi, Grayson Perry, Conrad Shawcross and Yinka Shonibare
Royal Academy Keeper Eileen Cooper RA recognised by Woman of the Year
London, 26 September 2016: Royal Academician and Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts, Eileen Cooper, will join over 400 women from all walks of life at the Women of the Year Lunch as a ‘2016 Woman of Achievement’. Each guest is regarded as a ‘Woman of the Year’ and represents not only herself, but the millions of women who make a difference every day.
Eileen Cooper RA is attending in celebration of her contribution to the arts and arts education.
Origins – A Project by Ordinary Architecture to go on display in October
15 October 2016 – 15 January 2017
This Autumn the Royal Academy has commissioned Ordinary Architecture to create a series of interventions throughout Burlington House that offer an intriguing contemporary counterpoint to the ‘origin myths’ of architecture. The history of architecture is full of ‘origin myths’, stories of how and where architecture began. What makes these ‘origin myths’ important is the way they describe the point at which architecture becomes culture, when the act of building becomes imbued with cultural meanings that can be read and interpreted.
Royal Academy of Arts announces The Veronica Scanner: Live 3D Portraiture to go on display in September 2016
London, 25 July 2016: The Royal Academy of Arts in partnership with Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation and the Rothschild Foundation will present The Veronica Scanner: Live 3D Portraiture to UK audiences for ten days only in London, from 2 – 11 September 2016, and Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire from 22 – 30 October 2016.
Royal Academy of Arts and St Pancras International station unveil monumental installation by Ron Arad RA
London, 7 July 2016: The Royal Academy of Arts and St Pancras International station today revealed a major site-specific installation, Thought of Train of Thought, 2016, by Royal Academician Ron Arad for Terrace Wires, the station’s public commissioning programme for new artwork by leading international artists.
This is the second instalment of a four year partnership between HS1 Ltd. (owners of St Pancras International station) and the Royal Academy for the station’s public sculpture series, following Cornelia Parker RA’s One More Time in 2015. This year marks the fourth year of the Terrace Wires commission at the station.
The Royal Academy of Arts celebrates Friends Week with the appointment of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as new Patron
London, 10 May 2016: After almost forty years, The Duke of Edinburgh will pass the patronage of the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts to The Duchess of Cornwall. The appointment of Her Royal Highness as Patron will take place during the annual Friends Week from 16 – 22 May 2016. The Duke of Edinburgh has been patron of the programme since it was founded in 1977.
Her Majesty the Queen at the RA Jubilee party in 2012
Photo: Millie Pilkington
The Royal Academy of Arts featured in official commemorative album for The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Windsor
London, 20 April 2016: While The Queen’s actual birthday is on 21 April and her official birthday is on a Saturday in June, The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration will take place from 12 to 15 May 2016 in Home Park, Windsor Castle, and will celebrate The Queen’s life.
As part of these celebrations, publisher St James’s House has produced an official commemorative album for the event – the only publication sanctioned and endorsed by the organisers. In the area of the visual arts, one of the organisations selected to appear in the publication is the Royal Academy of Arts.
Royal Academy of Arts announces election of new Royal Academicians, Honorary Royal Academicians and Honorary Fellow
London, 14 April 2016: The Royal Academy of Arts has elected Sonia Boyce as a Royal Academician in the category of Painting. International artists Olafur Eliasson and Jenny Holzer have been elected as Honorary Royal Academicians. The Duke of Devonshire and Agnes Gund have been elected as Honorary Fellows.
London, 4 April 2016; In July 2015 the Royal Academy of Arts launched Urban Jigsaw, an ideas competition which offered a platform for architects to develop speculative proposals for brownfield sites and undeveloped spaces across London. As the capital’s population fast approaches 10 million, the open call competition asked for ideas that were creative, research-driven and capable of realising the potential of these missing pieces of London’s urban jigsaw.
The Royal Academy of Arts unveils a monumental public artwork by Yinka Shonibare RA on the façade of Burlington Gardens
London, 16 May 2016:
The Royal Academy of Arts today unveiled a major large-scale public artwork by Yinka Shonibare MBE RA. It will wrap around the scaffolding on the façade of Burlington Gardens whilst the building is undertaking a transformative redevelopment in the lead up to the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary in 2018. RA Family Album, 2016, consists of over 160 black and white photographs and prints, showcasing the people who have made the RA an inclusive place for artists, creativity and learning since its foundation in 1768. The 71m width design is topped by one of Shonibare’s renowned colourful fabric designs which drips down over the images.
Royal Academy of Arts reveals new hoarding design created by local students with support from Richard Wilson RA and HLF
London, 10 February 2016: The Royal Academy of Arts has partnered with local students to design a section of the scaffold hoarding which will cover the façade of Burlington Gardens throughout the Royal Academy’s transformative redevelopment. The students created the design with artist Diana Taylor, alongside advice from Royal Academician Richard Wilson, and funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The final hoarding artwork will be revealed to the public on 24 February 2016.
Keystone of British cultural history revealed for first time in 100 years
London, 27 October 2015: The Charter for the Society of Artists of Great Britain and its associated Roll of Obligation have been rediscovered at the Royal Academy of Arts 250 years after the Society’s foundation in 1765. Thought to be missing, these documents are central to the story of British cultural history signifying the formalisation of artists as a professional group in Britain in the late eighteenth century. The Society was crucial to the foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768, when a cabal of artists broke away from the Society and formed the Academy instead.
The Royal Academy’s north-facing Entrance, Burlington Gardens
Image credit: Hayes Davidson
The Royal Academy of Arts unveils plans for 250th anniversary redevelopment
London, 11 May 2015: The Royal Academy of Arts, Britain’s foremost artist-led institution, today unveiled designs for a transformative redevelopment which will be completed in time for its 250th anniversary in 2018. The project is supported by a grant of £12.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).