A Guide to Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition


Having hosted the biggest names in art since 1769, The Royal Academy’s historic Summer Exhibition is an essential London event.


06th April 2018

The Chesterfield Mayfair

The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition is a highlight in London’s cultural calendar, and this year’s show is set to be extra special. 2018 marks the RA’s 250th birthday, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, the venue has undergone an extensive redevelopment project that will be revealed early this summer. Located a short walk from The Chesterfield Mayfair, guests at the hotel will have easy access to this highly anticipated event, which runs from 12th June to 19th August 2018.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Acclaimed British artist Grayson Perry serves as this year’s Co-Ordinator, and his chosen theme for the exhibition is ‘Art Made Now.’ Perry explains that, in choosing this theme, he wishes to ‘champion the democracy of the exhibition and show off the diversity of art being made in this moment.’ Expect a diverse and thought-provoking range of artworks as well as Perry’s curiously named ‘Room of Fun.’ Dedicated to especially entertaining pieces, this space will be located within a newly opened wing of the Academy. The redevelopment creates a two-acre campus for the Academy, linking the historic Burlington House site with Burlington Gardens. Furthermore, the new layout means there’s more room to showcase the work of Royal Academicians as well as those studying at the institution’s Schools.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Hailed as the biggest open submission contemporary art exhibition, The Summer Exhibition has taken place every year since 1769. Submissions are welcome from across the globe, with the final selection of artworks only being made as the pieces are being hung in the galleries. Featuring a wide ranging variety of artwork, from film to sculpture, the exhibition offers a distinguished and original platform for both established and up-and-coming artists to present their work. Each year, a different group of artists from the Royal Academy Schools serve as members of the Summer Exhibition Committee, in order to provide a different perspective and flavour for each annual showcase. This year, a dedicated exhibition will run in tandem to the summer show. The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition will take over the John Madejski Fine Rooms, West Rooms and Galleries I and II, and will look back over 250 years of this popular summer show. Drawing on the Academy’s extraordinary collection, don’t miss this retrospective, which will include works by the likes of Thomas Lawrence, J.M.W. Turner, Tracey Emin, Zaha Hadid and David Hockney.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Explore Mayfair’s art scene, including the historic Royal Academy of Arts, from the comfort The Chesterfield Mayfair.

Image Credits: Lead image Royal Academy exterior and courtyard © Fraser Marr. Royal Academy Exterior © Fraser Marr. The Great Spectacle, William Powell Frith, A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881 © Royal Academy of Arts. Summer Exhibition 2017 © John Bodkin.

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