The Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts (RA for short) is a prestigious art school in Burlington House - one of the buildings that makes London's Piccadilly so very famous. The RA is an independent academy, that does not receive government funding, which aims to promote the joys of visual art, and to widen the public knowledge of its creation and enjoyment, through the mediums of debate, public exhibitions, and education. The RA is Britain's oldest art school, and has educated such famed and great artists as William Blake, J.E. Millais, Sandra Blow and John Hoyland.
Founded in 1768 by King George III, the RA had 34 original founding members, all of whom were well-known and respected in the fields of art and/or architecture. One of their original aims was to finance some of the RA students training by hosting an annual exhibition of works by 'artists of distinguished merit' - a very successful venture which has taken place every summer since 1769 and is now known as the 'Summer Exhibition'.
The RA is home to many major collections, and boasts the oldest and best fine-art library in the entirety of the UK, with examples on display such as the Michelangelo Tondo, which can be found in the academies Sackler Wing. The famous and much-loved Brit Stephen Fry himself has been quoted as saying this of the RA -
“ I am passionate about the Royal Academy and think it stands for all the very best in British cultural life. There is nowhere else like it on earth. “
Depending on the exhibition being displayed at the time, tickets are usually priced at around £10-£15, or enjoy a free guided tour of the highlights from the RA's collection in the John Madejski Fine Rooms.