Whenever I’m in Savile Row, I always walk pass the Royal Academy of Arts.
Royal Academy Of Arts
Burlington House Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
- Green Park Tube Station (0.3 km)
- Piccadilly Circus Tube Station (0.4 km)
- Contact us:
020 7300 8000
- Opening hours:
Daily 10am - 6pm
Fridays 10am - 10pm
18 reviews of Royal Academy Of Arts in English
Amazing architecture and one of the finest art establishment in London. The membership is rather pricey but I guess you pay for the location. I came here a couple of times, the latest being to see Hockney exhibition. Despite the 45mn queue (and I guess we were lucky enough to come at 10pm, some people had to queue for 3h during the day), I always have a great experience visiting this place.
Went here to see the Hockney exhibition. Been in London since 2005 and this was my first visit (Feb 2012) – I know shame.
The exhibit itself was packed (probably didn’t help we went during mid-term week) but layed out nicely. And it didn’t take us long to get our tickets.
the building itself is absolutely amazing, beautiful architecture.
Classy .. but membership prices reflect this …
I used to be a member & adore the members’
room for coffee; great place to hang out with
a friend. I went there to see my old mate Frank
Bowling’s show – the first black RA – shame on
the whole art establishment for not promoting
our black artists sooner.
Stephen Fry says “I do not think there is a more
pleasurable or fulfilling thing to be, than a Friend of
the Royal Academy. I am passionate about the Royal
Academy and think it stands for all the very best in
British cultural life”
It’s always a pleasure to come to the Royal Academy of Arts!
The building with its tranquil courtyard puts you in the mood for experiencing some of the greatest art collection in the world, and the inside galleries are spacious with great lighting!
Absolutely love it!
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Degas and the Ballet – Picturing Movement at The Royal Academy of Arts is a collection of the French artists painting, photographs and sculptors.
Born in 1834 in Paris, Degas was known in his lifetime as the ‘Painter of Dancers’. He once claimed that his ballet scenes were ‘a pretext for depicting movement’.
Some of his first pictures to attract attention were scenes of the ballet.
He went on to transform his vision of movement into his celebrated sculpture, The Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. It was made of wax and dressed in real clothes and a wig.
Around 1915, Degas came face to face with the new medium of film, and even though he refused for him and his work to be filmed, director Sacha Guitry captured an almost blind Degas, as he walked past the camera.
Within two years Degas was bedridden and died in 1917, during the First World War. Soon after his works were acquired by major museums, such as the National Gallery in London. This is the biggest collection of his work to be in one place since his death.
This exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts, is a real mixture of all the different styles of expressing art and all the influences that inspired Degas to create some of the most stunning images of dance and movement that has ever been seen.
Comment 1 comment on this review
lovellpatrick, 19 November 2011:
This is one of the finest art establishments in the country. Something for us Brits to be really proud of. It is simply a pleasure to behold the building and then that informs the whole experience. I've been coming here since I was knee high to a grass-hopper and it's a real treat to visit.
And what could be nicer than tea at Fortnum's afterwards. Oo! That's a nice idea.
You cannot miss the special function usually held during March and June every year in this academy if you are indulged in arts. Of course, there would be some admission fees for those exhibition and it depends in the functions and varies differently.
All other time throughout the year, you can try to enjoy the cafe on the first floor which is quiet and comfortable.
The Royal Academy is unique and separate from London’s other major museums and galleries because it has no private collection of works of its own. It therefore relies on loans from private collections and museums, which enables it to have a much wider range of exhibitions. However, this does however mean that if you’re not interested in the exhibitions on, there is often not much point of visiting (although the architecture is beautiful). The exhibition space on the top floor (currently showing Maeght’s collection) can be a bit small and pokey (and overpriced), although suits exhibitions that are self-contained such as their recent Modigliani exhibition which was beautiful. Downstairs offers more space, and hosts their annual Summer Exhibition, which I’d recommend to any visitor. It has been going on for hundreds of years and is a chance to view work by the Royal Academy’s pupils and also established Academicians, and the works are available for purchase, and fill the galleries from ceiling to floor.
Good Points: Wonderful guide and excellent exhibitions.
Bad Points: none
Visited London last summer to see the Summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Had a wonderful day at the gallery. The show was a high quality with a real mix of talent some good, some fantastic and some different. Went on a tour of the upper gallery which was really interesting and informative. The guide made the whole day with his explanation of work by Monet and other leading artists. Will be going back again this summer to see the 2008 exhibition.
I’m fortunate that I know someone who’s a member of the Royal Academy so I go with them and don’t have to pay, I’m not sure I would go there otherwise as it would be too expensive. To be fair they’ve usually got a free exhibition going on, but it’s the touring exhibitions that have all the glamour; in the past year I’ve gazed appreciatively at ancient treasures and beautiful artefacts from across the world. The building itself is impressive and there is usually a sculpture or installation in the courtyard, if you’re in Piccadilly it’s worth wandering into the courtyard to have a look. The gift shop always has some interesting items although the prices are often eyebrow-raising.
A world-class art gallery, and working school of art, housed in a fine Palladian style building, with a few other Royal Societies situated around the courtyard.
The Exhibitions themselves vary between many different periods, styles, movements and formats. They change a few times a year, and usually have one to for exhibitions on at any one time, along with permanent collections, and numerous art-fairs throughout the year, including the famous Summer Exhibition.
There is a Restaurant and Cafe open to members of the public, that serve decent food at reasonable prices, and a Members cafe and restaurant which you can only access by being a member, or going in with a member, the food here is different from that served in the public eateries, and is just as good, if not better.
It is well-worth paying the membership fee to become a “friend” of the Royal Academy, as it allows for free entry to any exhibition that is on at the Royal Academy, discounts, private viewings, and events only bookable through being a member.
The Royal Academy really helps make a good day out in London great, and due to its close proximity to other attractions, can be visited with others on the same day.
As I’m not an art critic, I won’t discuss the exhibitions or permanent displays of the museum which, I’m sure are outstanding, but only the facilities and areas you are likely to encounter as a visitor.
The general “reception area” is manky, unmodernised and doesn’t give a very welcoming impression. The “restaurant” is unbelievably awful, especially considering what a long way museum cafes and restaurants have come in other places Edinburgh springs to mind. It’s a bit like what I imagine a post-war canteen must have been like. As for the food, I dididn’ try it because a) the queues were too long (so I suppose somebody must like the place) and b) I was absolutely put off by what I saw of the food (If you must know: A pudding of white beans and goat’s cheese, which really takes the biscuit in awful concoctions, in my books at least.) The worst place, however, was the “Friends’ Tearoom” to which we were taken by a member. I’ve never seen anything as depressing: A run-down, shabby place with odd-ball furniture where elderly people crash out on the chairs from exhaustion. Offerings: 1960’s style teas with the inevitable scones and jam and oh yes: Bakewell tart. This whole place is dusty and depressing and in urgent need of a face-lift.
I enjoyed my visit to the Royal Academy of Arts. I’d walked by the building (on Picadilly) hundreds of times, but never gone in. Last December I saw a special exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Society of Antiquaries. The exhibition was fascinating, charting the development of the study and preservation of historical items and antiquities. The building itself (Burlington House) beautiful, with a dramatic courtyard. As a bonus, there is a nice shop with fun things suitable for gifts.
The Royal Academy of Arts is the place to be if you are a budding artist (although a lot of famous English artists have either been kicked out or never allowed to enter the Academy).
The Academy is an imposing building along Piccadilly which itself is a wonderful example of architecture in London.
Every year the Royal Academy of Arts hosts the Summer Exhibition which allows anyone to submit works for public exhibition (many more are entered than are exhibited). It truly is a unique experience as you get the chance to see work from well known, renowned artists; alongside work from members of the public.
You can also take your wallet along as you can walk away with some art from the Summer Exhibition.
I must say that the first surprise was the fact that the Royal Academy is a charity, the second was how beautiful it is and the third was the brilliant offers they have going on.
At the moment there is a Russian exhibition on, the greatest Russian artists...definitely a must see.
I would also recommend to anyone to become a 'friend of the royal academy of arts'. if you are up to 25 it costs only £35 (the rest £95) a year and you get to go anytime you want for free and also your guest (absolutely bargain considering that one ticket to see something costs around £12).
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