Frequently asked questions

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

Is there anything I need to know before entering?

Please read our Instructions for Entering Work, and Terms and Conditions of Entry to the Summer Exhibition and Sale of Your Work, which you’ll find on our homepage under Helpful Links. For more information, see our FAQ below.

How do I open an artist account?

Click register now on the home page, select the appropriate category and enter your details. Once you have completed the registration form, we will email you an activation link to your artist account, where you can login and purchase your Entry Form.

I’m having problems registering. What should I do?

Make sure that your internet browser is up-to-date. Our website is only compatible with the following browsers:

▪Google Chrome 22+

▪ Safari 7 +

▪ Moxilla Firefox 27+

▪ Internet Explorer 11 (not on Windows Vista or XP)*

*Older versions of Internet Explorer running on Windows Vista or XP are not compatible with our website, so please ensure that you are using the latest version of Internet Explorer or try another browser. If the problem continues, please contact us.

I am representing an artist? What should I do?

Select 'I am an individual Artist OR I am representing an individual Artist’; enter the artist’s name in the ‘first name’ and ‘last name’ fields; then enter your name in the first line of the address section; e.g. c/o followed by your name or gallery.

Can I represent more than one artist?

Yes, but you must contact us so that we can register all the artists under the one email address. The account activation links, results and art sales reports for the artists will be sent to the given address.

Can I enter on behalf of a deceased artist?

Yes, but please register in the deceased artist’s name with the prefix ‘The late …’. Please note that notifications are generated automatically, so emails will be addressed to the name on the artist account. Please see section 3 of the Terms and Conditions.

I am entering on behalf of an architecture practice. What name should I register in?

You must register in the name of the practice.

How do I set up an account for a collaboration/group of artists?

Select ‘I am part of OR representing a collaboration’ on the registration page. Then enter your name under ‘Contact Artist Details’ and the other artist’s name under ‘Collaborator Details’.

If your collaboration consists of more than two artists or you are registering under a group name, please contact us so that we can list the names correctly.

Can I enter in my own name and as part of a collaboration?

Yes, but you must register separately as an individual and a collaboration. You can't use the same email address for both accounts and you can only enter two works in total, one on each account.

Can I use a pseudonym?

Yes, but both the name fields on the registration form are mandatory, so if your pseudonym is a single word please register and purchase entry in your full billing name and then contact us. We will then change your billing name to your pseudonym on your account.

I’ve registered successfully. What happens next?

We will email you a link to your artist account. Click the link to activate your account. You only need to click it once. If you click it a second time, you might get an error message but your account should still be active.

I have not received my account activation link. What should I do?

If you don’t receive your activation link within 24 hours, check your spam/junk email folder. If it’s not there, contact us.

If you have a personalised web domain, your activation link could be delayed by the filters on your website.

You can also prevent our emails going to your junk/spam folder by adding the following email to your contact list:

I have activated my account. What happens next?

Once you have activated your account, you can login and purchase your Entry Form.

I already have an artist account, but I’ve forgotten my password? What should I do?

Click the ‘Forgotten your Password?’ link on the home page – below the Password field on the righthand side.

I’ve tried resetting my password by clicking the ‘Forgotten your Password?’ link on the homepage, but I still can’t login. What do I do?

Make sure that you have activated your account before you try to change your password (see above). You should also check that you only have one browser window open when you login; you might not be able to login if you have multiple windows or tabs open. Finally, make sure you’re using the ‘Existing User’s Login’ box on the right-hand side of the homepage and the details of your email address are correct.

Can I purchase an Entry Form on behalf of someone else?

Yes, but you must register and create the account in the artist’s name, not yours: the name on the account is linked to the artwork details and accounts are non-transferable.

All notifications and any other messages to the artist will be sent to the email address on the registration form/artist account.

I keep getting an error message when I try to make payment. What can I do?

Try making payment on a different computer, tablet or phone.

Update your internet browser – we recommend Google Chrome. Clear the cookies and cached images on your internet browser

If none of the above works, please contact us with a screenshot of the error message. 

I’m getting the error message ‘Error: 8003’ what does this mean?

It probably means your payment is failing the 3D Secure check, which is set up by your bank, not the RA. Please make sure that your password is correct and contact your bank if you continue to experience problems.

The check can take a while, so don’t exit the window, refresh the page or double click your mouse during the process.

If I purchase an Entry Form for one work, can I then purchase an Entry Form for a second work later?

No, you can’t purchase an Entry Form for a second work later.

Do I have to submit my Entry Form immediately?

No. You can edit and save your artwork details but once you have submitted your Entry Form, you can’t make further changes.

Is there any advice on how I should photograph my work?

Yes, there’s a tutorial on how to photograph your work here, and for further details please see the How to Photograph Your Work document listed under Helpful Links on the homepage.

How many photographs/ images should I upload?

If you are entering a two-dimensional work, you must upload a primary image showing the work in its entirety.

If you think it would help the judges, you can also enter secondary images showing details of your work.

If you are entering a three-dimensional work, upload three images, showing the work from different angles.

Can I upload images of three different artworks?

No. If you upload images of more than one work, we will only show the primary image to the judges. The only exception to the rule is an artist book.

I’m entering an artist book, but I’m not sure which images to submit for the first round of judging. What should I do?

You should upload three images showing different aspects of the work. 

Should I include the artwork frame in my photographs?

There are places for three images of each work, so if your work is framed, we suggest that you upload a secondary image including the frame. 

What type of image should I upload?

Images must be in one of the following formats: TIFF, TIF, JPEG, JPG or PNG. Each image must not exceed 3.00MB. Make sure you upload high-quality images, as poor images may hinder your chances of success.

How do I resize my images?

There are plenty of free online tools that will resize images for you. We suggest searching ‘image resize tool’ in your browser.

My image is the wrong way round. What should I do?

Make sure your image is the right way round before you upload it. Open the image file on your computer and look for an option to edit or rotate the image. Once you have the image in the correct orientation, you should be able to upload it to your Entry Form.

If you are certain that you have orientated your image correctly, but it is still the wrong way around on your Entry Form contact us.

How do I price my artwork?

You should decide what you want to receive from the sale once our commission of 30% plus VAT is taken into consideration. If your work is an editioned print, you should also factor in the cost of inland (UK) postage and packaging for unframed prints.

I am not VAT registered. Do I still need to include VAT in the price?

If you are not registered, you do not need to include VAT in the full price but you must add it to our commission. The VAT rate is 20%, so our commission would be 30% plus VAT, which makes 36% of the total price.

Do I need to register for a VAT number?

If you live in the UK, you don’t need to register for a VAT number unless your earnings exceed the threshold as outlined by HM Revenue & Customs (

I am VAT registered. Do I need to include VAT in the retail price?

If you are VAT registered, you must include VAT in the retail price; i.e. the whole amount.

I live outside the UK. Do I need to register for a UK VAT number?

If your work is for sale, you must supply us with a UK VAT number or register with a UK address. Please see the VAT Information – International Artists document under Helpful Links on the homepage. If your work is not for sale, you do not need to supply us with a UK VAT number.

Can I use a non-UK VAT number?

No, we can’t accept VAT numbers from other countries

How do I know if my VAT number is a UK VAT number?

A valid UK VAT number is prefaced with the letters “GB”.

Can I enter the price of my artwork before I receive my VAT number?

Yes, you can enter the retail price of your artwork on your Entry Form and wait to hear if your artwork is shortlisted on 12 March before you register for a UK VAT number.

What is the deadline for supplying my UK VAT number?

You must give us your UK VAT number by 24 August 2020. If you do not, we will not be able to make your work available for sale. If it is selected for the exhibition, we will show it as NFS (not for sale) in the List of Works and the Summer Exhibition Explorer.

An application for a VAT number can take a month or more to process, so make sure you allow enough time.

How do I know if I have successfully submitted my artwork?

When you have submitted your artwork, the status will change to Submitted on your account. If your artwork status does not say Submitted, your work has not been submitted and you should try again.

How do I know when my work has been judged?

After the first round of judging the status of your entry will change to Shortlisted or Not Selected on your artist account. You will also receive an email notification.

How many rounds of judging are there?

There are two rounds of judging. The first is made from digital images of artworks, from which the judges shortlist up to 4,000 entries to be delivered to the Academy for the final round.

If you are successful in the first, digital round, we will notify you by email and ask you to deliver your artwork to the Royal Academy for the final round.

Do I have to enter a new work?

It is not mandatory, but we encourage you to enter new work.

Can I enter an audio-visual work?

Yes. Enter your artwork details and upload a still on your Entry Form; then encode your film as an H.264 .mov file and send via WeTransfer to

Make sure you include your artist name and artwork title when you transfer your film to us.

What is an original print?

An original print is created solely as a print.

Can I submit a copy of a work that exists in another medium?

No, we don’t accept copies and you can’t sell multiples of drawings or paintings.

What is meant by a copy?

A copy is a reproduction of a work that exists in another medium; e.g. a digital reproduction of a lino cut, or a photograph of a drawing.

Can I sell prints that are a different size to my work intended for display?

No, prints from an edition must be the same size and made of the same materials as the work on display.

I don’t want to frame my work until I know it has been shortlisted. What should I do?

Please estimate the dimensions. If your work is selected for the exhibition, the dimensions will appear in the online list of works, so if the final dimensions vary significantly, contact us.

My work has electrical elements and will need to be plugged in to the mains. Do I need to supply a PAT certificate?

Yes - once you’ve been notified that your work has been shortlisted, you must send a copy of your PAT certificate to by 24 August 2020. If you don't supply us with a PAT certificate, we won't be able to display your work.

Can I enter polyptychs as one work?

Yes, but diptych, triptych or polyptych should be written in brackets after the title and the parts must be clearly labelled, (e.g.1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc.). Please make sure that the primary image on your Entry Form shows the work in its entirety.


What do I do if I don’t receive my email?

Check your artist account page for the status of your artwork.

It can take up to 24 hours for notifications to arrive and for the status of your artwork to be updated on your account.

What happens if I don't receive my labels and barcodes in the post?

Go to your artist account page, click 'View Artwork', then 'View printable version' at the top of the page. Print the artwork information page, which includes the barcodes, and attach it to your work.

Can I swap my barcodes with another artist?

No. Barcodes are non-transferable. 

Do I have to deliver my shortlisted work myself?

You can ask a friend or courier to deliver your work, but it must be unpacked and the barcode scanned before it is given to our art handlers.

We will not accept works until they have been unpacked. If you use a commercial courier, such as DHL/UPS, they will be required to unpack the work and present it for inspection before we will accept it. Packed works will not be shown to the judges.

In line with our policy to reduce the environmental impact of our activities, we ask that you take your packing materials away with you to be reused or recycled. 

Why do I have to remove hanging fixtures from my work?

You must remove hanging fixtures, because they might not meet our standards and could cause damage to other artworks. If your shortlisted work is selected for the exhibition, we will affix our standard hanging fixtures to the frame.

How should I deliver my unframed shortlisted work?

If you submit an unframed artwork, it’s at your own risk. We advise you to submit your work in a simple travel frame, with instructions to indicate that it should stay in the frame until it’s hung.

What should I do if I have specific installation requirements?

If your work has specific requirements for display, please contact us if it is shortlisted.

How should I attach barcodes and labels to my Artist's Book?

If it is shortlisted, please deliver your book in a box (for protection purposes only – not for display), with the barcoded sticky label applied to the outside of the box and the tie-on label looped with string around the spine.

Will I get a receipt for my work?

You won't be given a physical receipt, but the status of your artwork will change to delivered on your artist account.

I have missed the deadline for collecting my shortlisted artwork. What do I do?

If you don’t collect your unselected artwork by date tbc, you will have to make an appointment. 

To book a collection time, and for any other queries regarding collections, please email

Collection appointments will be restricted to weekdays, Monday to Friday, only.

The collection address is West Yard, Royal Academy of Arts, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3ET

Are there any prizes for work shown the Summer Exhibition?

Yes, prizes and awards are given each year. Prizes and awards in 2019 included the following:

The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award
£25,000 awarded by a panel of judges appointed by the President and Council for the most distinguished work in the exhibition

The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture  
£10,000 for a sculpture

The Jerwood London Original Print Fair Prize
£10,000 for a print in any medium

The British Institution Awards for Students 
Two prizes of £5,000 and £3,000 for work across a comprehensive range of creative disciplines from painting to architecture

The Hugh Casson Drawing Prize 
£5,000 for an original work on paper in any medium, where the emphasis is clearly on drawing

Rocco Forte Hotels Architecture Prize
£5,000 for an outstanding work of architectural design 

The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist 
£4,000 for a painting or sculpture

The Arts Club Award 
£2,500 awarded to an artist aged 35 or under for a work in any medium except architecture

The BKI Architecture and Materials Prize
£2,500 for a work celebrating material excellence

The Rose Award for Photography
£1,000 for a photograph or series of photographs

The winners' names will be announced on date to be confirmed.

There is no application procedure. All exhibited works will be judged automatically according to their categories. 

If my work is selected, can I bring guests to the Varnishing Day?

The event is for exhibitors only but there will be other opportunities for you to bring guests to the exhibition during the preview weekend. Please refer to the Instructions for Entering Your Work document under Helpful Links on the homepage for more information.

Will there be an Illustrated Catalogue for the Summer Exhibition 2020?

Yes, but it will only feature selected works from the exhibition. It will be available from the RA shop and online.

All exhibited works will appear in the online catalogue

How do I find out if my artwork has sold?

If your work sells, we will send a Sales Report to the email address on your account. The report will show the contact details of the buyer, the amount paid to us (Deposit) and the outstanding amount owed to you (Payment to Artist).

The Sales Report is sent in an Excel document.

Sales Reports are sent on a weekly basis.

Is there any guidance about art sales?

Yes. Please see our Guide to Selling under Helpful Links on the homepage.

How do visitors know if my work is available for sale?

The details of your work will be given in the List of Works and the Summer Exhibition Explorer, our online catalogue.

If your displayed work sells, we will place a red spot against the catalogue number on the wall or plinth. If one of your unframed prints or casts sells, we will place a small spot on the glass inside the frame or on the plinth.

I have not heard from my buyer. What should I do?

If you do not receive a response from the buyer within four weeks of your acceptance of their offer, please contact us.

My buyer has paid me. What do I do next?

Once you’ve been paid, send the signed Removal Order for the artwork to your buyer.

When does the Summer Exhibition 2020 open to the public?

This year’s exhibition will open to the public on 6 October.

How do I get information about the Summer Exhibition 2021?

In January 2021, please visit

What is the ‘Removal Order’?

The Removal Order is a receipt for your artwork. If your work is selected for the exhibition, you will receive a Removal Order so that you, your agent, or buyer can collect your artwork at the close of the exhibition.

The Removal Order will show your name; the title and catalogue number of your artwork. You must write the name of the person who is collecting the artwork on the Removal Order and sign it.

When the person collecting the work comes to the RA, they will need to sign and date the Removal Order before exchanging it for the artwork.

It is a legal document and we won’t hand out an artwork unless we receive your signed Removal Order.

When will I receive my Removal Order?

If your artwork is selected, we will send you your Removal Order a few weeks after the exhibition opens.

I’ve misplaced my Removal Order. What do I do?

If you have misplaced your Removal Order, please contact us immediately.

Can I use a digital copy or scan of my Removal Order?

No. The Removal Order is a legal document. The person collecting the artwork must give us the hardcopy Removal Order, or we will not release the artwork.

The buyer of my work lives overseas. Who covers the cost of shipping the work?

If the buyer resides outside the United Kingdom, they should bear the transportation costs, but you are the seller and the final arrangement is between you and the buyer.

Do I need to inform the RA if I sell my work after the exhibition has closed?

Yes, please see our Terms and Conditions.

If a prospective buyer contacts us after the close of the exhibition, we’ll let you know.

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Summer Exhibition 2020

The Summer Exhibition is now open until Sunday 3 January 2021. 


Collection of Non Exhibited Works

The deadline for collections has now passed. 

If you have not collected your artwork, please contact us.


Summer Exhibition Coordinators 2020

Jane and Louise Wilson

"We’re very excited to be coordinating this year’s summer show alongside fellow Royal Academicians."

To find out more click here.

Summer Exhibition Selection and Hanging Committee 2020

Sonia Boyce, Eileen Cooper, Richard Deacon, Stephen Farthing, Eva Jiricna, Isaac Julien and David Remfry


Office Hours

The Summer Exhibition Office is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. If you have a query regarding the submission process please see our FAQ above, or  Contact Us and we will respond within three working days


Helpful Links

Terms and Conditions

Instructions for Entering Work

Video Tutorial: How To Photograph Your Work

How to Photograph Your Work

Suggested Transport Agents

VAT Information - International Artists

Guide to Selling


Awards and Prizes in 2020 will include

The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award
£25,000 awarded by a panel of judges appointed by the President and Council for the most distinguished work in the exhibition

The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture 
£10,000 for a sculpture

The Jerwood London Original Print Fair Prize
£10,000 for a print in any medium

The British Institution Awards for Students 
Two prizes of £5,000 and £3,000 for work across a comprehensive range of creative disciplines from painting to architecture

The Hugh Casson Drawing Prize 
£5,000 for an original work on paper in any medium, where the emphasis is clearly on drawing

The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist 
£4,000 for a painting or sculpture

The Arts Club Award 
£2,500 awarded to an artist aged 35 or under for a work in any medium except architecture