Royal Academy of Arts


The Royal Academy of Arts is an art museum that is housed in the magnificent Burlington House (and accessible from either Old Bond Street or the Burlington Arcade).

It is an independent institution that was founded by King George III in 1768 to promote British art, primarily through the Royal Academy’s training programmes which constitute the oldest art school in Britain. Past students include JMW Turner, Sir John Soane, William Blake, John Constable and Edwin Landseer.

It is privately funded, although the British government lets it use Burlington House rent-free.

What to see at Royal Academy of Arts

The gallery features­ a programme of art exhibitions that range from obscure artists to famous British and European artists including Michelangelo, Constable and Gainsborough.

To celebrate its 250th anniversary, a newly expanded campus was opened in May 2018, dubbed the New RA. A highlight is the RA Collection Gallery, a new exhibition space with highlights from the Academy’s permanent collection, which include Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo and Giampetrino’s 16th-century copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

The RA’s Architecture Studio is a permanent space for the Academy’s architecture, which includes both exhibitions and talks from prominent architects.

Temporary exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts

Most of the Royal Academy’s exhibition space is used for a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions with several exhibitions running concurrently. Although some of these exhibitions are free, many of them, including the annual Summer Exhibition, incur an admission charge.

Current and planned temporary exhibitions include:

Angelica Kauffman
Known for her influential celebrity portraits and innovative paintings, Angelica Kauffman left a significant mark on European art. This exhibition (until 30 June 2024) chronicles her remarkable journey from child prodigy to a sought-after 18th-century artist. The exhibition showcases her life and career, from London fame to Royal Academy founding membership and her later work in Rome, featuring her self-portraits, Royal Academy ceiling paintings and captivating history pieces. £17.

Summer Exhibition 2024
For many visitors, the annual Summer Exhibition (18 June–18 August 2024) is the highlight of the RA’s exhibition programme. The exhibition is open to anyone, who can submit works to the Academy with the best works being selected for the exhibition and this selection process sees work by leading artists being exhibited alongside relatively unknown emerging talent. Furthermore, most of the art in the Summer Exhibition is available for sale. £22–24.50.

In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine, 1900–1930s
In the Eye of the Storm (29 June–13 October 2024) showcases Ukrainian revolutionary modernist art from 1900 to the 1930s. Amid the backdrop of collapsing empires, the First World War and Ukraine’s struggle for independence, Ukrainian modernism thrived, fostering bold artistic experimentation in a tumultuous era. This exhibition features over 70 works, including paintings, sketches, collage and theatre designs, many on loan from Ukrainian institutions due to the ongoing Russian invasion. £17.

Michael Craig-Martin
The Michael Craig-Martin exhibition (21 September–10 December 2024) chronicles the career of trailblazing artist Sir Michael Craig-Martin RA, a prominent figure in British conceptual art and a pivotal teacher in his generation. Since the late 1960s, he has worked with sculpture, installation, painting, drawing and print, merging elements of pop, minimalism, and conceptual art. Craig-Martin’s art revamps everyday objects, infusing them with bold colours and unembellished lines. £22–24.50.

Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael: Florence, c. 1504
On 25 January 1504, as the Italian Renaissance bloomed, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael, artistic giants of their time, briefly converged in Florence, vying for the favour of powerful patrons. This exhibition (9 November 2024–16 February 2025) featuring Michelangelo’s renowned Taddei Tondo, delves into the rivalry between Michelangelo and Leonardo, exploring their influence on the young Raphael. The exhibition includes examples of Italian Renaissance drawing, including Leonardo’s Burlington House Cartoon and studies for murals commissioned by the Florentine government. £19–21.

Visiting Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts is located in Burlington House off Piccadilly. The closest tube stations are Green Park and Piccadilly Circus, both a five-minute walk from the Royal Academy.

There is a wide range of exhibitions at the Royal Academy, both free and paid. The admission charge varies although most major temporary exhibitions cost between £15 and £20. Tickets for the Summer Exhibition cost £20–22. Most exhibitions are £1 cheaper with a National Art Pass.

With the exception of the upper garden area in the Keeper’s House, all areas of the Royal Academy are wheelchair accessible. Audio guides (and transcripts of audio guides) are free for disabled visitors, tours are available in British Sign Language (BSL) for deaf visitors and audio described tours are available for blind and visually-impaired visitors. There is also a programme of events put on specifically for disabled visitors.

There are several bars, cafes and restaurants in the Royal Academy of Arts complex, although the restaurant and bars inside the Keeper’s House are restricted to Friends of the RA before 4pm.

Nearby attractions include Burlington Arcade, Clarence House and well-known West End shopping streets including Jermyn Street, Savile Row, New Bond Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street.

  • Wheelchair access
  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Bar
  • Gift shop

There are no comments yet.

Submit your review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Plan your next trip to England with us

Planning a trip to England? is your independent source of travel information with information about how to get around, what to see and do and where to stay on your next trip to England.

Plan your next trip to England with us

Planning a trip to England? is your independent source of travel information with information about how to get around, what to see and do and where to stay on your next trip to England.

The South

The Midlands

The North

Back to England Rover home

Copyright 2018–2024 Rover Media Pty Ltd

Back to England Rover home

Copyright 2018–2024 Rover Media Pty Ltd



Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

Already have account?

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.