The Royal Scottish Academy is an independent body of artists and architects, founded in 1826 as The Scottish Academy.  It was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1838 making it Scotland’s oldest artists’ collective. The membership encompasses Honorary Academicians, Academicians and Academicians Elect (the latter being those who have yet to submit a Diploma Work to the RSA Collection).

Since its inception, the Academy has elected Honorary Members “eminent in their field” – artists and architects of international significance, enlightened practicioners in other art forms, art historians, and those whose support of the arts is at the highest level.

In recognition of our history as a teaching institution, we continue to elect Honorary Professors in the associated disciplines of History, Antiquities, Literature and Anatomy, currently Prof. Martin Kemp FRSA, HRSA, Dr Margaret Bennet HRSA, the Nobel Laureate Alice Munro HRSA and Professor Sue Black, OBE, FRSE, HRSA. Our longest serving Honorary Member, and indeed the longest serving in the history of the Academy, is his Royal Highness Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is also Patron of the Friends of the RSA. Additionally, the Presidents of sister Academies – The Royal Academy of Arts in London, The Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin and the Royal West of England Academy are granted Honorary Membership of the RSA on their election.

Royal Scottish Academicians (Members) are eminent artists and architects, elected by their peers, who are Scots by birth or domicile. The majority live and work in Scotland, from the Northern Isles to the Borders. The longest serving Academician is currently Dame Elizabeth Blackadder DBE, Hon FRSE, RA, RSA, Hon FRIAS, Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland. At present the Members Roll encompasses ninety-five artists and twenty-two architects, many of whom take a leading role in higher education and in many of Scotland’s cultural institutions.


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