Royal Academy Of Arts

Summer Exhibition 2020

For those who don’t already know, the RA Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show held every single year without interruption since 1769, even through the war years which is absolutely incredible. Due to the recent pandemic, the 252nd Summer Exhibition has been postponed (slightly) to 6th October but promises to be just exciting as ever. Here’s what you need to know…

Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2019 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photo © Royal Academy of Arts/David Parry

The RA school is the longest established art school in the UK, it offers the only three-year postgraduate programme in Europe. The Summer Exhibition provides a unique platform for both established and emerging artists to showcase their works to an international audience. This is comprised of a range of media from painting and printmaking to photography, sculpture, film and architecture.

Curated for the first time by an artistic duo Jane and Louise Wilson RA, this autumn is set to be just as uplifting and inspiring. We can guarantee there will be art you love – or hate possibly (!) – or simply art that will put a smile on your face! With the strange uncertainty of recent times, art has taught us more than ever to take a moment or two to observe, reflect and spot the beauty in the smallest of details.

“Like everyone, the Royal Academy is faced with navigating an uncertain time and finding ways to make the best of it. One thing is certain though: our belief in the power of art, and the role it can play in inspiring creativity and hope. The RA has been a home for artists, architects and art- lovers for over 250 years and we do not intend to stop now.

The Summer Exhibition is embedded in our culture and plays a crucial role in supporting the artistic community and art education. This open, inclusive and democratic show gives artists a platform and helps finance the next generation, as well as giving our visitors a much-anticipated seasonal display of creativity and joy.

Now more than ever we need to support our artists and architects and so it is vital for us to continue with the Summer Exhibition in 2020. We’d also like to thank our exhibition sponsor, Insight Investment, for being so supportive.”

– Rebecca Salter,

President of the Royal Academy of Arts and chair of the Summer Exhibition 2020. 


About the RA

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768 (by Kind George III) when a group of artists decided to make it their mission to form an annual exhibition to support artists and architects by showcasing their work of the moment to the nation. It’s public programme promotes creativity, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, debate and education. An independent charity the Royal Academy does not receive revenue funding from the government and so is reliant upon the support of its visitors, donors, sponsors, patrons and friends. To discover more about the RA visit the main website here.