The Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is an independent, privately funded art and architecture institution based on Piccadilly, London.

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768 and aims to be a supporter of both art and artists as well as promoting art through exhibitions and education programmes.

One of its most famous exhibitions is the Summer Exhibition, where any artist can submit a piece of work for inclusion. It is the longest continuously held exhibition of contemporary art in the world, dating back to 1769.

The Royal Academy is also a supporter of emerging artists, and the RA Schools is the oldest art school in Britain, celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2019. Every year, 17 artists undertake a free postgraduate programme at RA Schools, all funded by the RA and its supporters. Famous alumni of RA Schools include John Constable, JMW Turner and more recently Sandra Blow.

The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust have donated £10 million to the RA to ensure the continuation of the postgraduate art school. In recognition of the largest grant in the history of RA Schools, the RA School Buildings will be renamed the Julia and Hans Rausing Campus.

The rebuilding and renovating of the Campus will create additional studio space, including new workshops in Burlington Gardens. Historic buildings such as the Life Room and Sydney Smirke studios, fist built in 1870, will be restored.

The Trust also gifted £2.5 million in December 2018 to conclude the RA’s major re-development project, which enlarged the space open to the public for exhibitions, underpinned by the new Weston Bridge connection between Burlington House and Burlington Gardens.


Eliza Bonham Carter, Curator and Head of the Royal Academy Schools

“The RA Schools provides young artists space and time to germinate the art of the future. This remarkable gift gives us the opportunity to ensure our studios and workshops are fit for the next 250 years.”

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