Everything you need to know about the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2023

Everything you need to know about the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2023



Now in its 255th edition, the prestigious event accepts submissions from everyone.

London’s Royal Academy is home to the world-famous Summer Exhibition. Now in its 255th year, it is the world’s oldest open submission. The beauty of the show is that anyone can enter a work of art, and it may make its way up onto the gallery’s walls. Running from 13 June to 20 August, the exhibition brings together 1,614 works from established to emerging artists. 

Summer Exhibition 2023

The history of the Summer Exhibition 

The Royal Academy was founded in 1768, and one of its main objectives was to establish an annual exhibition. Not only would it be open to wannabe artists, but it would also be open to the public. The first Summer Exhibition took place in 1769, and it is one of the biggest art events in the London calendar

The gallery receives more than 10,000 works of art. Artists can submit up to two works – it was originally three, but it was reduced as the submissions were so large. In recent years, the exhibition has adopted a theme. Previous themes include Printmaking and the Multiple in 2005, From Life in 2006, Man Made in 2008, and climate change in 2022. 

Each year the Royal Academy of Arts presents prizes for outstanding works in the Summer Exhibition. The £25,000 Charles Wollaston Award is presented once the exhibition has opened.

Summer Exhibition 2023

Summer Exhibition 2023

Summer Exhibition 2023 is being curated by the British painter, David Remfry. The theme is Only Connect and it is inspired by a quote from E.M. Forster’s Howards End. The big-name artists include Frank Bowling, Gillian Wearing, Michael Craig-Martin and Tracey Emin, and Honorary Royal Academicians Kiki Smith, Mimmo Paladino and Pipilotti Rist. 

The Architecture Room has been curated by Peter Barber, and focuses on the process of construction and making. The highlights include two tall pieces by British visual artist Phyllida Barlow RA. 

The Summer Exhibition is also unique because many of the pieces are for sale. Make sure you grab a brochure listing the sometimes eye-watering prices. Look out for the coloured dots next to the painting, which highlight if it has been bought. You never know, you may nab a piece from tomorrow’s biggest artist.

Summer Exhibition 2023 is open daily from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm, and on Friday from 10am to 9pm. Tickets start from £20. 

GO: Visit www.royalacademy.org.uk for more information.