Grayson Perry RA. Manifesto Napkin, 2012

Become a Friend of the Royal Academy of Arts and receive a free work of art by Grayson Perry RA

The Royal Academician Grayson Perry has created a special manifesto for the Royal Academy of Arts under the authorship of Red Alan, a ceramic sculpture of his famed childhood teddy bear, Alan Measles. Red Alan’s Manifesto will be exclusively available as an edition of napkins, printed on 100% cotton and measuring 60 x 60cm, to anyone who buys a Friends of the RA Membership from the 1 May to 31 August 2014. Standard Friends membership (£97) gives unlimited access to world-class exhibitions at the Royal Academy for a year.

Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy, said: “This is a rare opportunity to own a print of Red Alan’s Manifesto as they will not be available anywhere else.

We are extremely grateful to Grayson Perry for his continued support of the Friends of the RA. It is one of the largest Friends’ organisations of its kind in Europe and provides an invaluable source of financial support for the RA, which receives no public funding and relies heavily on the generosity of individuals, companies and foundations.”

All Friends can bring in an adult family guest with them when they visit exhibitions, for free. Additional benefits include all-day access to the newly transformed Keeper’s House; invitations to private Friends Previews; a free subscription to the acclaimed quarterly RA magazine and monthly e-newsletter; and access to an inspiring programme of unique excursions talks and events at the RA and further afield. For Young Friends (16 – 25 years), membership costs £45.

Friends of the RA can enjoy first access and an opportunity to buy works at the RA’s annual Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show and the RA Schools Final Year Show. Later in the summer Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album will bring together over 400 of his photographs taken during the 1960s which will be shown in the UK for the first time. This will be followed in the autumn with the major exhibition of work by the Honorary RA, Anselm Kiefer.

The new Keeper’s House was launched by the RA in 2013, offering an exclusive and beautifully designed new space for the Friends of the RA. This major redevelopment was led by award- winning architects Long & Kentish, with interiors designed by David Chipperfield Architects and the garden designed by leading landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith, while the catering is managed by the renowned restaurateur Oliver Peyton. Red Alan by Grayson Perry is on display in the Keeper’s House, together with works of art by Royal Academicians, including Tracey Emin and Michael Craig Martin, and from the Royal Academy Collection. The space includes a new restaurant, cocktail bar, garden and refurbished lounges, providing a home for artists and art lovers in the heart of Mayfair.

Notes to Editors:

The Grayson Perry napkin offer runs from 1 May 2014 until 31 August 2014

How to buy membership

You can buy membership online, by telephone 020 7300 5664 or by visiting the Friends Desk at the Royal Academy.

The offer is for all membership types (Young, Standard, Joint), on either a one off payment or by Direct Debit.

About Grayson Perry RA

Grayson Perry was elected as a Royal Academician in 2011 under the category of Engravers, Printmakers and Draughtsmen. He studied at Braintree College of Further Education from 1978 to 1979 and graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1982. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003. He works in a variety of mediums but is best known as a ceramicist. There is a dissonance between the conventional forms of his vessels and the depictions that adorn them. He uses imagery and text to chronicle social concerns, his own formative experiences and to tell the story of his alter ego, Claire. The tone of his narratives is psychologically complex and often caustic.

Although he uses traditional methods to make his pots, he employs a range of techniques, such as embossing and photographic transfers, to create intricate, animated surfaces.

About the Keeper’s House

The Keeper’s House was built in the 1870s as a central London home for the Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools. An integrated but autonomous space within the eastern wing of Burlington House, the Keeper’s House bears the hallmarks of Palladian architectural style, inspired by 16th century Venetian architect Andrea Palladio and designed by Sydney Smirke RA in 1866. It features a rusticated ground storey, weighty voussoirs over the door and a triangular pediment above and balustrade below a large south-facing window. Although little has changed on the outside since it was built in the 1800s, the inside of the Keeper’s House tells a different story and has accreted layers of construction and decoration, reflecting an intriguing and varied history of many occupants and functions at the Royal Academy. The Royal Academy is grateful to the Friends of the Royal Academy, Mr and Mrs Shenkman and several other private donors for their support of the Keeper’s House development.

About the Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. The RA welcomes approximately 1m visitors per year and is internationally renowned for its programme of exhibitions and events of the highest quality. It remains true to its origins through as a place where art is made, exhibited and debated. It is home to the Summer Exhibition, now in its 246th year, and to Britain’s first art school. The latter is unique in offering the UK’s only three-year full time postgraduate art course. The current membership of Royal Academicians includes many of today’s foremost artists and architects such as Grayson Perry, David Hockney, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Zaha Hadid, Sir Norman Foster, Conrad Shawcross, Thomas Heatherwick and Yinka Shonibare. The RA is a registered charity that relies upon funds from its activities and on the support of sponsors, donors and its loyal Friends, to continue its work.