RBA History

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.