Celebrating 250 years, London’s new Royal Academy of Arts unveiled

The New Royal Academy of Arts will open to the public on 19 May
London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) will open its new campus to the public on Saturday 19 May as part of its 250th anniversary year celebrations.

Supported by nearly £13million from The National Lottery, the RA will provide year-round access to a new, expanded public programme. With much more space following redevelopment, it can now ‘make, debate and exhibit’ more art and architecture than ever before in its long history. 

Internationally-acclaimed architecture

Designed by world-famous architect Sir David Chipperfield, the new RA is more open and welcoming.  It will publicly share historic treasures from its collection, the work of its Royal Academicians and the Royal Academy Schools, and its role as a centre for debate about art and architecture.

“We will be able to share with the public more of our mission to promote the understanding, appreciation and practice of art and architecture.”Charles Saumarez Smith, RA Secretary and CEO

Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Arts, said: “At long last, we will be able to open up the RA and share with the public more of our mission to promote the understanding, appreciation and practice of art and architecture.”

70% more public space

One of the key features of the redevelopment is the new Weston Bridge between Burlington House and Burlington Gardens, uniting the two-acre campus and creating a new route between Piccadilly and Mayfair. It provides 70% more public space where free displays of art and architecture will be on show to visitors.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “This redevelopment is the backdrop to a real sea-change in approach, made possible with £12.7m of National Lottery players’ money.  Free access to some of the RA’s own historic collection is a first for which we congratulate them.”

Free public events programme

The RA’s new public events programme includes festivals, talks and hands-on creative educational activities for families, schools and community groups. 


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