It’s November again and this means it’s time for the RCA Secret annual contemporary art exhibition. This sale consisting of around 2,500 original postcard-sized artworks, made and donated by professional artists, designers and illustrators, plus up-and-coming students and alumni from the Royal College of Art.  The cards are all sold to the public in a huge sale, with every postcard costing just £45, regardless of whether it has been made by a famous name or a young art student.

 What’s the Secret?  Each postcard is signed on the back, so collectors don’t know the identity of the artist until they have made their purchase. Although it can help to know the difference between a drawing by Tracey Emin and a sketch by Sir Paul Smith, a lot of it is down to pure luck and many collectors don’t realise whose work they have chosen until they hand over their cash on the sale day.

 The RCA is grateful to receive enormous support from hundreds of leading international artists and designers who contribute to the event each year. Artists may choose to paint, draw, sketch or even produce a 3-d sculpture as long as it’s postcard-sized.

Potential collectors will be able to view all the postcards in person at the RCA in London or on-line at www.rca.ac.uk/secret from 12 November.  All postcards go up for sale for one day only on Saturday 20 November at the RCA.  Postcards can only be bought on a first come, first served basis, with no sealed bids or reservations in advance. There will also be a raffle for collectors to win a position in the first fifty places in the queue.

 As well as being a fundraiser for the Fine Art students at the College, RCA Secret has a loyal following of supporters including regular collectors and art-lovers some of whom have been visiting the show since it began in 1994. It is not only one of the most popular events at the RCA, but has now become an established date in the British art calendar.

This exhibition is a pot luck, grab bag of surprises.

This years artists include: Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, Olafur Eliasson, Jake Chapman, Sir Anthony Caro, John Baldessari, Yoko Ono, Franz West, Yinka Shonibare, Richard Wentworth, Grenville Davey, Harold Offeh, Billy Childish, Andrzej Jackowski, Lawrence Weiner, Anthony Frost, Maggi Hambling and Mary Fedden, photographer David Bailey, illustrator Quentin Blake, fashion designers Mary Quant, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Manolo Blahnik, Erdem, Julien Macdonald, Eley Kishimoto, Andrew Fionda and Hardy Blechman, designers Ron Arad, Sir Kenneth Adam, Sir James Dyson, John Pawson, Sir Terence Conran and Ross Lovegrove, architect Will Alsop, filmmaker Mike Leigh and graphic designers Milton Glaser and Margaret Calvert.


As in previous years all monies raised goes to the Royal College of Art Fine Art Student Award Fund. To date, sales of postcards have raised over £1 million, helping hundreds of emerging artists at a formative stage in their careers.

See Full Exhibition Details

Exhibition open: 12 & 14-19 November, 11am-6pm daily, free admission.

Sale day: Saturday 20 November, 8am-6pm.

Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU



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