Located in Burlington House, Piccadilly London, this great British institution was founded in 1768, and is the country's oldest society concerned solely with the fine arts. It celebrated its 250th year in 2018, proving its capacity for longevity.

A number of very famous artists from the past are connected with this society including JMW Turner, John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, Lord Frederick Leighton and Stanley Spencer. Currently, the more high profile members include the likes of the fantastic Grayson Perry, the dedicated and brilliant David Hockney, the electrifying Tracey Emin, and the ultra talented Anish Kapoor. They are indeed a very hard act to follow and represent a glowing pool of talent which the public find hard to resist.

The writer of this piece is a great admirer of Mr G. Perry's thought provoking and interesting designs, which smack of tremendous originality, a difficult thing to achieve in this age of competition. Also, for example the work of recent Keepers of the Royal Academy are worthy of note. The previous Keeper, Eileen Cooper, RA, are fascinating and magnetic, and are stylistically known as Magical Realism. Ms Cooper also produces sculpture and prints when she has the time from her Academy duties. Her work features in 27 public collections and by that token must make her the foremost contemporary proponent of Magical Realism in the western hemisphere. This writer believe that Ms Cooper owns Magic Realism in the same way that Bridget Riley own British Op Art. Investors should take note! The new Keeper ...

But back in 1768, The Royal Academy was established by a group of 36 artists and architects, lead by its first illustrious president, Sir Joshua Reynolds. They also set up Britain's first art school, known as the Academy Schools, which is still a major part of the academy. But the RA is particularly famous for its annual summer exhibition, open to the general public to submit their own original art pieces, and continues to draw leading artists from all over the globe. Over ten thousand submissions are made each year from the general public, such is the respect with which the RA is held worldwide. This represents a difficult logistically operation for the organisers who have to find somewhere to put all the new work! But over 1,500 works from these submissions are on display, most of them for the first time. Highlights include the animal-themed ‘menagerie’ in the Central Hall, with works by artists including Banksy, Polly Morgan and Charles Avery .

However, since 2018 there have been some new developments and the New RA opened its doors to reveal a major redevelopment. New gallery areas include the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries, for temporary exhibitions, and the new Royal Academy Collection Gallery. This redevelopment created 70% more public space in all, with galleries dedicated to architecture, , free displays, installations, and the work of the gifted RA students. A veritable treasure trove of wonderful things and something for everyone. There is now a new lecture theatre and learning centre offering an extensive public events programme. The current writer was a regular visitor to the RA but has not yet had the joy of seeing all the new goodies.

As you can expect, the Academy has its own permanent collection of art and focuses mainly on British art and artists and ranges from the 18th century up till now. They include works by Reynolds, Turner, Gainsborough, Constable, Flaxman, Sargent, Millais, Leighton, Waterhouse, Spencer and of course one of Britain's favourite artists, David Hockney.

Over 1,500 works are on display, most of them for the first time. Highlights include an animal-themed ‘menagerie’ in the Central Hall, with works by artists including Polly Morgan, Charles Avery, Banksy and Mat Collishaw.

As always, most of the artworks are for sale with proceeds going to fund the Academy’s non-profit-making activities, such as the free RA Schools.

Speaking as a frequent visitor, I would highly recommend a visit to this dazzling palace of art, which will greatly uplift the mind and spirit! You will come away mesmerised and greatly inspired!