The Royal Scottish Academy is an independent membership-led organisation.

The membership comprises 120 Academicians elected by their peers, every September, in the disciplines of art and architecture. The Academy also elects Honorary Academicians who are eminent in the arts or distinguished in the promotion of art and architecture. 


The most senior decision-making body is the Assembly of Academicians. The President, Secretary and Treasurer are elected every three years and together form the Standing Committee which meets once a month to deal with routine business. The Council comprises the President, Secretary and Treasurer and ten other members elected in rotation. The Council is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Academy. In addition, there is also an Exhibitions Committee which is responsible for the programme and a General Purposes Committee that oversees the RSA Collection and the allocation of awards.

  • President, Joyce W. Cairns


    Joyce W. Cairns

    Joyce W. Cairns PRSA D.ED (hc) HRA HRHA HRWA HRBA RSW is the current President of the Royal Scottish Academy. She is the first woman to hold this honorary position. 


    Born in Edinburgh, Joyce studied painting at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, and at the Royal College of Art, London. In 1976 she returned to Aberdeen to teach Drawing and Painting at Gray’s School of Art until 2004 when she left to complete a substantial body of work culminating in the exhibition War Tourist at Aberdeen Art Gallery.

    Elected an Associate of the Academy in 1985 and Academician in 1998, Joyce has played a crucial role in the achievements of the academy in recent years, serving on committees and aiding the implementation of change seen during the presidencies of Ian McKenzie Smith PPRSA, Bill Scott PRSA (1935-2012), and, most recently, Arthur Watson PPRSA.

  • Treasurer, Robin Webster RSA


    Robin Webster RSA

    Professor Robin Webster OBE RSA PPRIAS RIBA FRSA is the current Treasurer of the Royal Scottish Academy.


    Robin is a partner with cameronwebsterarchitects, Glasgow, and Professor Emeritus at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Webster studied Architecture at the University of Cambridge, and the Bartlett, University College, London. After working with Gillespie Kidd and Coia, Glasgow, he set up in practice, Spence and Webster, in London with Robin Spence. From 2018 to 2020 he served two terms as President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).