Royal Society of British Artists

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The Royal Society of British Artists
Abbreviation RBA
Type Artist Society
Legal status Active
Official language
James Horton
Key people
Thomas Heaphy
Affiliations Federation of British Artists
Remarks References[1]

The Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) is a British art body established in 1823 as the Society of British Artists, as an alternative to the Royal Academy.


The RBA commenced with twenty-seven members, and took until 1876 to reach fifty.[2][3] Artists wishing to resign were required to give three months' notice and pay a fine of £100.[3] The RBA's first two exhibitions were held in 1824, with one or two exhibitions held annually thereafter.[4]

The RBA currently has 115 elected members who participate in an annual exhibition currently held at the Mall Galleries in London. The Society's previous gallery was a building designed by John Nash in Suffolk Street. Queen Victoria granted the Society the Royal Charter in 1887.

It is one of the nine member societies that form the Federation of British Artists which administers the Mall Galleries, next to Trafalgar Square.

Its records from 1823–1985 are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.[5]

Prominent members




  1. Society of British Artists. Web. 20 Aug. 2013.
  2. About the RBA, The Royal Society of British Artists, retrieved 8 July 2010<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Johnson, Jane (compiler) (1984. First published 1975), Works Exhibited at The Royal Society of British Artists 1824–1893; and the New English Art Club 1888–1917, Antique Collectors' Club, ISBN 0-902028-35-9, retrieved 8 July 2010 Check date values in: |date= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "List of RBA exhibitions 1824–1840" (PDF), The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Library: List of photocopies of catalogues and other material on exhibiting societies, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, p. 8, retrieved 9 July 2010<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Painting and drawing in the archives", V&A. Retrieved 16 February 2007

External links