Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The world's largest open-submission exhibition has a colourful makeover for 2015.

The year is 1769: James Cook lands in Tahiti, Napoleon Bonaparte is born in France and, in London, the newly-founded Royal Academy of Arts invites ‘artists of merit’ to submit paintings to its first annual open exhibition. If you’ve seen Timothy Spall’s ‘Mr Turner’ pimp his seascape to piss off John Constable in Mike Leigh’s 2014 film, you’ll have a sense of how lively this monster of a show has been over the centuries. These days you’re unlikely to witness fisticuffs over the framed prints but a spirit of competition still wafts through the oldest open-submission show in the world, now in its 249th year. 

This year's show is overseen by Royal Academician Eileen Cooper. There are over 1,200 artworks splooged all over the walls of Burlington House – as ever, by big names and recent graduates alike. Some of it’s a total mess, some of it’s totally great. It’s packed full of art, and – more than anything – it’s just an amazing opportunity to spot new talent alongside art world megastars like Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare and countless others.



Users say (5)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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2 people listening

One of the art highlights in London every year! And one of my favourite to attend! Massive selection of unique modern art and the current trends in art. Each entry ticket includes a pocket guide of the artists' index as well as the pricing for anyone interested to buy a piece immediately. Prices range & you can easily get a piece of art in a really affordable price.This is one of the events that only in London can happen!


I absolutely love this show. A massive selection of all types of art in beautiful surroundings for us to marvel or guffaw at. And of course, the opportunity to decide whether or not the pricing is appropriate provides hours of fun. Something for everyone.


I used to love this exhibition but this time around I felt that it had become a bit tired. It featured pretty much all of the same artists as were featured in last years exhibition. Very poor. I'm usually blown away by the variety and the wave of New up and coming artists that feature at this annual art display but I feel a little let down this time around. Some lovely art on show but nothing I've not seen before. Must try harder RA!


I loved this year´s show and for that matter, every year I have been. There is such a large number of pieces that everyone can find at least 100 pieces they love, 100 they hate and probably everything in between. The presentation is great. It´s also interesting for the viewer to find out about the prices, which is rarely ever the case with exhibitions at museum level.

Definitely something I look forward to every summer!

I'm an Australian living in London and I go and see a lot of world class art in this city. But I have to say the Summer Exhibition was so disappointing! This exhibition has been going for 247 years! That is astounding. But it isn't worth the money to get in.  It's a hyped up jumble sale!  There were a few moments of brilliance such as Anish Kapoor work otherwise it didn't do the artists any justice. The Royal Academy does such great shows and the Summer Exhibition is a let down. I won't be seeing it next year. 

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