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Royal Academy of Arts announces Eileen Cooper RA as the co-ordinator for the Summer Exhibition 2017

Exhibition preview

THE ROYAL Academy’s 249th Summer Exhibition will be co-ordinated by Eileen Cooper RA.

The hanging committee will consist of Royal Academicians Ann Christopher, Gus Cummins, Bill Jacklin, Fiona Rae, Rebecca Salter and Yinka Shonibare. This year, the Architecture Gallery will be curated by Farshid Moussavi RA.

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition providing a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience.

Eileen Cooper is a painter and printmaker known for her instantly recognisable style, sometimes described as “magical realism”.

Cooper studied at Goldsmiths College from 1971-1974 and was taught by fellow Royal Academicians Michael Craig Martin and the late Albert Irvin. She went on to study at the Royal College of Art and by the 1980s was exhibiting widely. She became a Royal Academician in 2000 and was elected as the Keeper of the Royal Academy in 2010, the first woman in this role since the RA began in 1768.

This year, the Royal Academy received 12,000 entries from both UK and International artists, from which the committee will make a selection to hang in the Main Galleries in Burlington House. Around 1200 works, in a range of media, will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile and up-and-coming artists.

One of the founding principles of the Royal Academy of Arts was to ‘mount an annual exhibition open to all artists of distinguished merit’ to finance the training of young artists in the Royal Academy Schools.

The Summer Exhibition has been held every year without interruption since 1769 and continues to play a significant part in raising funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools. The RA Schools is the longest established art school in the UK and offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe.

Eileen Cooper, co-ordinator of the Summer Exhibition 2017 said: “As Keeper of the Royal Academy I am committed to the Summer Exhibition, given its support of the RA Schools students over the past 249 years. I have submitted work to the Summer Exhibition since I was an art student and subsequently many times as an Academician. I am delighted to be the co-ordinator this year and to be working with such an exciting committee.”

The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award and other Prizes

Over £50,000 is offered in awards and prizes for every category of work in the Summer Exhibition.

Established in 1978, the Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award is, at £25,000, one of the largest and most prestigious art prizes in Britain. Previous winners include: David Nash RA (2016), Rose Wylie RA (2015), Wolfgang Tillmans RA (2014), El Anatsui Hon RA (2013), Anselm Kiefer Hon RA (2012), Alison Wilding RA (2011) and Yinka Shonibare RA (2010).

Sponsor’s Statement

Abdallah Nauphal, Chief Executive Officer, Insight Investment said: “Insight’s long association with the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition has spanned more than a decade and we are honoured to play a role in its enduring success. As a public entry competition for artists from all walks of life, it helps to inspire innovative new work and provides the opportunity for them to be associated with a world-leading institution. We hope everyone who experiences the Summer Exhibition will share our enthusiasm for this remarkable event.”

Dates: Tuesday, June 13 to Sunday, August 20, 2017.

Times: 10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm). Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Admission: Prices include the List of Works giving details on every exhibit in the show. Adult ticket £15.50 (£14 excluding Gift Aid donation); concessions available; under 16s and Friends of the RA go free. Tickets are available daily at the RA or by visiting

Group bookings: Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 8027 or email

Also at the Royal Academy of Arts: America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s (until June 4, 2017).

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Tel (for public information): 020 7300 8090.