The Royal Scottish Academy
Other names: The Scottish Academy (Royal status granted 1838)
Foundation date: 27 May 1826
Active: 1826 -
Function: Art society
Policy: Mission: The Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, was established with a view to promote the advancement of the Fine Arts in Scotland, by uniting in a well organised Society a limited number of Artists, distinguished for professional eminance.
Aims/Purp: 1. To have Annual Exhibitions, open to all artists of merit.
2. To cultivate the Fine Arts through teaching free of expense.
3. To form a library of books of painting, sculpture, and architecture, and all objects relating thereto; also of paintings, prints, casts and models, and other things useful to the students in their art.
4. To provide financial support for artists and their families in times of hardship and bereavement.
5. To admit Honorary members eminent by their talents and attainments.
Rules: 1. No members allowed to hold an official position with any other Society for the Exhibition of Pictures in Edinburgh.
2. Failure to submit works to the Annual Exhibition for two successive years, will result in forfeit of all claims by the member upon the Academy and it's funds. This limitation did not extend to Sculptors who were allowed three years, nor to members over the age of sixty.
3.No members allowed to contribute more than nine works to the Annual Exhibition.
4. No prints admitted into the Exhibition.
5. No copy, with the exeption of Paintings in Enamel, and the prints of the Academician and Associate Engravers, shall be admitted.
6. No needle-work, artificial flowers, cut paper, shell-work, Models in coloured wax, or any such performances, nor any work which has been publicly exhibited in Edinburgh for emolument, shall be admitted.
7. No picture or print will be received without a gilt frame.
8. No work intended for exhibition shall be received after the time linited for the reception is expired.
9. No works by deceased artists, except those of artists who have died since the previous exhibition, shall be admitted into the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy.
10. The arrangement of works for public view, shall be decided by the Council or to a Committee appointed by them.
11. Members who exhibit with any other Society at the time his works are exhibited in the Annual Exhibition shall neither be admitted as a candidate for an Associate, nor for his performances be received the following year; but this prohibition is declared to extend to one year only.
12. Photographs of works may only be obtained by permission of the RSA and artist and proprietor.
Meeting schedule: annual
Activities: art classes, circulating portfolio, circulation of competition details, classes, classes in drawing, classes in life drawing , classes in modeling from the life, classes in painting, classes in painting from the life, classes in watercolour painting, discussions, discussions on art, exhibitions (open to non-members), lectures, lectures on art, meetings, musical entertainments, news, professional advice, social events, soirees
Publications: annual reports, books, exhibition catalogues, illustrated exhibition catalogues, reports
Benefits: advice from fellow members, criticism of work by fellow members, eligible for awards, eligible for exhibition, entry in artist's directory, entry in member's directory, free entry to exhibitions, grants and prizes, guaranteed inclusion in exhibitions, medals, participation in all events, prizes, professional status, use of library, use of society's premises, use of club premises
Composition: men and women members, professional artists, professional painters, professional portrait painters, professional sculptors
Funding types: annual subscription professional artists, catalogue sales, donations, exhibition entry fees, joining fee, lifetime membership
Employees (sample figures)
Notes: 1876 Accounts
Wages: £79 2s.
Notes: 1876 Accounts
Wages: £65 2s.
Notes: Total amount - 1876 Accounts
Wages: £32 1s.
Notes: Unknown number of models used. 1876 Accounts
Secretary's Honorarium (1932)
Treasurer's Honorarium (1932)
Librarian's Honorarium (1932)
Assistant Secretary's Salary (1932)
Clerk's Salary (1932)
Dates are usually the year a work was exhibited so may differ from date of production.
New entries have been made each time a work was exhibited due to a lack of evidence about the state, medium or edition shown.
Lent The late Lord Cockburn
Lent Head of a young girl
Lent Robert Herdman, RSA
Lent Marietta, a Roman girl
Own Shere Khan, The Tiger
Acquired as Phyllis Bone's diploma work deposited after her election to the academy
Address The Mound Princes Street Edinburgh | View on map
Shared with the The National Gallery of Scotland who occupied the west side of the building and the RSA the East side. Although designed to operate as separate units, the galleries could be interconnected as required. Other institutions sharing this address in the nineteenth century were The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Trustees\' Academy. From 1910, following a reorganisation of arts institutions in Edinburgh, the building was designated as the Royal Scottish Academy and remains so to the present day
Exhibitions, Courses, Meetings and other Events
Organized Royal Scottish Academy School of Painting, 1911-1951
1911 - 1951
Organized The Royal Scottish Academy Life School
1840 - 1950 (Circa)
Functions included The Royal Scottish Academy Life School
Institutional and Business Connections
Affiliated with The Glasgow School of Art Club
p. 21 Students had work accepted and exhibited for the Annual Exhibitions
Affiliated with The Edinburgh College of Art
5 elected (of which 2 were Associate) members of the RSA, to serve on Board for The ECA.
Associated with The Glasgow School of Art
1898 (Circa) - 1948 (Circa)
Rival of Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland
1827 - 1830
Shared premises with The Scottish Modern Arts Association
Held Annual meetings in The Royal Scottish Academy Library
Took over premises from Royal Institution of Art (Edinburgh)
ARSAs included David Octavius Hill
ARSAs included William Calder Marshall
ARSAs included Patric Park
ARSAs included William Brodie
ARSAs included John Hutchison
ARSAs included John Blake McDonald
ARSAs included George Clark Stanton
ARSAs included David Watson Stevenson
ARSAs included Thomas Stuart Burnett
ARSAs included William Grant Stevenson
ARSAs included James Guthrie
ARSAs included James Pittendrigh MacGillivray
ARSAs included John Rhind Snr
ARSAs included William Birnie Rhind
ARSAs included Archibald Macfarlane Shannan
ARSAs included Percival (Percy) Herbert Portsmouth
ARSAs included Henry (Harry) Snell Gamley
1908 - 1920
ARSAs included Alexander Carrick
ARSAs included John Keppie
ARSAs included Alexander Proudfoot
ARSAs included George Henry Paulin
ARSAs included William Somerville Shanks
ARSAs included Fanindra Nath Bose
18 March 1925
In his reply to the Toast of the Associates, Bose said that "...at a moment of strained relations between Britain and India, this honour would reassure Indians that the Scots did not wish to thwart their legitimate aspirations"
ARSAs included David Alexander Francis
ARSAs included William A. Lamb
ARSAs included John Massey Rhind
ARSAs included Benno Schotz
ARSAs included James Harvey Clark
ARSAs included Archibald C. Dawson
ARSAs included William Oliphant Hutchison
ARSAs included Phyllis Mary Bone
15 March 1939
ARSAs included Thomas W. Whalen
ARSAs included Norman John Forrest
ARSAs included Alexander Handyside Ritchie
ARSAs included Hew Martin Lorimer
ARSAs included Scott Sutherland
ARSAs included Eric Clare Telford Schilsky
ARSAs included Jack Antonio Coia
ARSAs included Charles D'Orville Pilkington Jackson
ARSAs included Andrew Dods
ARSAs included Elizabeth Strachan Dempster
ARSAs included James Barr
ARSAs included Ann Henderson
Gave award to Kate Campbell Muirhead
For 'Elizabeth' and 'A portrait bust'
Gave award to Margaret C. P. Findlay
Gave award to William A. Lamb
Awarded The Guthrie Award for 'Ferryden Fisher Wife'
Gave award to Thomas W. Whalen
Awarded The Guthrie Award for 'Mother's Kiss'
Gave award to Elizabeth Strachan Dempster
For 'Mors Janua Vitae'
Gave award to Tom Macnair
December 1950 - December
Awarded The Guthrie Award for 'Jean Hannan'
Gave bursary to Margaret Dalrymple Gillan
Awarded Bursery for study at Glasgow School of Art.
Gave bursary to Norelle C. Keddie
Awarded Bursery for study at Edinburgh College of Art.
Gave prize to Thomas Stuart Burnett
Gave prize to William Birnie Rhind
Awarded 1st Sculptor's Prize
Gave prize to John Stevenson Rhind
Awarded 1st prize for Modelling
Gave prize to James Barr
Awarded Carnegie Travelling Scholarship
Gave prize to Norelle C. Keddie
Awarded The Keith Prize
Gave scholarship to Thomas W. Whalen
1931 (Circa) - 1932 (Circa)
Carnegie Travelling scholarship to France and Italy
Honorary elected members included John Phillip
Honorary elected members included Lawrence MacDonald
Honorary elected members included William Calder Marshall
Honorary elected members included Frederic Leighton
Honorary elected members included George Anderson Lawson
Honorary elected members included John Mossman
Honorary elected members included Auguste Rodin
Honorary elected members included Albert Bartholome
1911 - 1925
Honorary elected members included Alphonse Legros
Honorary elected members included Thomas Brock
Honorary elected members included Ivan Mestrovic
Honorary elected members included (Edgar) Bertram Mackennal
Honorary elected members included William Reid Dick
Honorary elected members included Charles Thomas Wheeler
Honorary elected members included Henry Spencer Moore
Honorary secretary was William Brodie
1876 - 1881
Honorary secretary was William Brodie
1876 - 1881
Not Honorary, but elected secretary to to the RSA. (office bearer)
Honorary treasurer was John Hutchison
1886 - 1907
Office Bearer (not Honorary)
Members of committee included James Pittendrigh MacGillivray
1910 - 1911
Council member and Curator of Library
Officers included John Hutchison
1877 - 1886
£19 8s. 1d.
Office held: Librarian
PRSAs included James Guthrie
1902 - 1919
Received resignation from Lawrence MacDonald
RSAs included David Octavius Hill
RSAs included Lawrence MacDonald
RSAs included John Robert Steell
RSAs included Patric Park
RSAs included William Brodie
RSAs included John Hutchison
RSAs included John Blake McDonald
RSAs included George Clark Stanton
RSAs included David Watson Stevenson
RSAs included James Guthrie
RSAs included William Grant Stevenson
RSAs included James Pittendrigh MacGillivray
RSAs included William Birnie Rhind
RSAs included Henry (Harry) Snell Gamley
1920 - 1928
RSAs included Percival (Percy) Herbert Portsmouth
RSAs included Alexander Carrick
RSAs included John Keppie
RSAs included Alexander Proudfoot
RSAs included William Somerville Shanks
RSAs included John Massey Rhind
RSAs included Benno Schotz
RSAs included Phyllis Mary Bone
First woman to be elected.
RSAs included Thomas W. Whalen
RSAs included Eric Clare Telford Schilsky
RSAs included Hew Martin Lorimer
RSAs included Jack Antonio Coia
RSAs included Scott Sutherland
RSAs included Ann Henderson
Secretaries included David Octavius Hill
1838 - 1870
Having previously been secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy's precursor, the Society of Artists
Constitution and Laws of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture Laws of the Royal Scottish Academy
Rules are abridged for purposes of relevance to project.
Citing this record
'The Royal Scottish Academy', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/organization.php?id=msib6_1202298949, accessed 01 Jul 2016]