On average, there are 110 members elected to the RBA, all of whom are entitled to exhibit in the Annual Exhibition which is held in the Mall Galleries in London. The membership procedure is competitive; candidates will normally be expected to have previously exhibited several times with the Society. The election of new members takes place at the AGM, which is usually held during the exhibition. The RBA welcomes submissions of work from young artists for possible inclusion in the Annual Exhibition.
Founded in 1823 by a group of artists who wished to break away from the convention of the Royal Academy, the society still has a forward-looking attitude and uncompromisingly high standards.
With the awarding of the annual British School at Rome Scholarship for drawing, plus the now established Debate, the RBA is active and influential in art education at all levels. This includes junior schools, assisting and maintaining links with schools applying for specialist college status in the visual arts, colleges, and universities.
The importance of creativity in all aspects of the curriculum, at all levels of study is of vital significance for not only does it lead to better results, it is a basic instinct of every child, irrespective of race or religion, and if nurtured will lead to greater tolerance, understanding and respect for each others ideas and cultural background. It is also vital to the economy of this country.
NATIONAL CHILDREN’S EXHIBITION
In the past two years, the Society, in partnership with Astor College for the Arts has mounted a national exhibition of students work alongside the RBA Annual Exhibition.
NATIONAL CHILDRENS SCULPTURE COMPETITION
The RBA in association with the Robert Bowman Trust has supported the National Children’s Sculpture Competition. The RBA President Cav. Romeo Di Girolamo was one of the three judges of last years competition and arranged for all the work of the finalists to be exhibited alongside RBA members work at the Annual Exhibition.
A sculpture court created at the Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham by Megan di Girolamo and students of the RBA affiliated sculpture course at Aylesbury College, to celebrate the spirit and joy of youth.
The Royal Society of British Artists was established in 1823 by a small group of artists who wished to break away from the Royal Academy. One of their main concerns was to establish an alternative exhibition venue to the academy and these efforts were rewarded when enough money was raised to commission John Nash to design and build the Society’s first gallery in Suffolk Street.
Further confirmation of the important position that the society held in 19th Century Britain was the granting of the Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in August 1887.
Since its foundation, the society has had some 36 Presidents, including distinguished names such as James McNeilI Whistler, Walter Sickert and more recently Peter Greenham RA. The society’s current president is Cav. Romeo Di Girolamo. For a list of past Presidents
The society has developed a strong commitment to issues of education and in September 1995 supported the foundation of a new Fine Art course which is based around figurative art, run by Northbrook College in Worthing. The unique course which culminates in the awarding of a BA. (Hons) in Fine Art, is enriched by visiting RBA members.