The Role of Royal Academicians
President of the Royal Academy
The President stands for election from among the RAs each year, although by convention this is unopposed. The President must be under the age of 75 and cannot be in office for more than ten consecutive years. Once elected, the President is the representative of the Royal Academy and of all the RAs. The President has the power to summon the Council and General Assemblies, but is unable to vote in either unless there is a matter upon which the votes are tied. The current President is Christopher Le Brun.
The Keeper of the Royal Academy is elected from among the RAs for a period of three years and is responsible for the Schools, the only three-year post-graduate art school in Britain. The Schools are located at the Royal Academy. The Keeper can serve up to five consecutive terms and attends in the Schools for at least two days a week during term time. The Academician holding the position of Keeper is able to practice within a studio space at the Academy. The current Keeper is Eileen Cooper.
The Treasurer of the Royal Academy is elected for a period of five years, from RAs who have served a minimum of five years, and advises on financial issues with direction from the Council.
The Secretary is the only Officer who is not a Royal Academician. The Secretary is responsible to the President and Council for carrying out the policies of the Academy and for its day-to-day running.
Council is a committee, comprising of the President and thirteen RAs. Council has the direction and management of all the business of the Royal Academy.
Various committees report to Council on each area of the RA’s activities and recommend policy. The current committees cover Architecture, Collections & Library, Exhibitions, Learning, Schools and Works. An RA, appointed by the Council, presides over each committee and is serviced by a senior member of staff from that department, as well as other staff, a number of Academicians and up to four external members.
All RAs are invited to sit on Council, by rotation, for a term of two years, accounting for six Council seats, and three newly elected Academicians are appointed to sit on the Council for their first year. Two Academicians are elected anually to the Council by the General Assembly of RAs, to sit in two year terms, which accounts for four Council members at any one time. In addition, three External Members, individuals who are not RAs, but have been approved by Council and General Assembly, are appointed for a term of two years.
The RAs who sit on Council each year delegate the direction and management of the Summer Exhibition to the Summer Exhibition Committee, which consists of thirteen Academicians, who can also act as Council Members, and is chaired by the President.