Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts in London is one of the most important art institutions in the UK. It is dedicated to the teaching and promotion of painting, sculpture and architecture.


The Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 by George III. founded, with 34 important artists and architects as founding members under the guidance of the painter Joshua Reynolds; among them were two women with the painter Angelika Kauffmann and Mary Moser. This was triggered by a dispute within the then leading artists association Society of Artists of Great Britain. The architect William Chambers left this association, after he had unsuccessfully running for the presidency. After he had his good connections used for the English royal family, the king finally completed the formation of a new association of artists. She took her work officially in the following year in 1769. Initially, the Academy took a maximum of 40 members, now there are up to 80


During the first three years of the Royal Academy in Pall Mall was in the City of Westminster housed. Shortly thereafter, she moved to the newly completed Somerset House. 1837 she was transferred to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Since 1868 the Royal Academy is located in Burlington House.


Although the Academy was officially published under the patronage of the king, she received no funding from the state treasury. The main source of income were and are the exhibitions of the Academy, which enjoy an excellent reputation throughout the world since 1870. In addition to exhibitions with loans is the annual summer exhibition at one of the central events of the London art world. In addition to members of other artists can submit their work and show in a positive decision on the summer exhibition.


The number of Members, Members or RAs (the latter as an abbreviation for " Royal Academicians " ) called, was initially restricted to 40, 1972, she was raised to 50 and is limited to 80 since 1991, in addition to a number of seniors who are of the age have exceeded 75 and free up their place for new members. Is a prerequisite for admission, that the artistic profession is at least partly carried on in the UK. The members are divided into the following three groups:

  • Painters (including the graphical fields of activity as an engraver, etcher, printmaker and draftsman )
  • Sculptor
  • Architects.

New members are elected by the group of RAs. This election as a full member is preceded by a multi-year vesting as ARA (abbreviation for " Associated Royal Academician " ) generally. Here it is required that at all times at least 14 sculptors, 12 architects and 8 printmakers must be below the maximum 80 RAs. As honorary members Hon RA and artists may be appointed since 1869, who are not active in the UK.

Through its membership all RAs will be awarded the right to up to six factories in the - issue annual summer exhibition ( Summer Exhibition ) - since 1769 continuously taking place. They can also hold small exhibitions at the Friends ' Room; occasionally they get the opportunity to major exhibitions of her work in the Sackler Galleries. As part of the RA Education programs many RAs are engaged as lecturers in education.

Presidents of the Royal Academy of Arts ( PRA) (with dates of tenure )

Joshua Reynolds (1768-1792) | Benjamin West (1792-1805) | James Wyatt (1805-1806) | Benjamin West (1806-1820) | Thomas Lawrence (1820-1830) | Martin Archer Shee (1830-1850) | Charles Lock Eastlake the Elder (1850-1865) | Francis Grant (1866-1878) | Frederic Leighton (1878-1896) | John Everett Millais ( -Aug 1896) | Edward Poynter ( 1896-1918 ) | Aston Webb ( 1919-1924 ) | Frank Dicksee (1924-1928) | William Llewellyn (1928-1938) | Edwin Lutyens (1938-1944) | Alfred Munnings (1944-1949) | Gerald Festus Kelly (1949-1954) | Albert Richardson (1954-1956) | Charles Wheeler (1956-1966) | Walter Thomas Monnington (1966-1976) | Hugh Casson (1976-1984) | Roger de Grey (1984-1993) | Philip Dowson (1993-1999) | Phillip King (1999-2004) | Nicholas Grimshaw (2004-2011) | Christopher Le Brun ( since 2011 )

Known students / professors (selection)