The Royal Academy of Arts announced in May 2020, that Cathie Pilkington RA has been elected as the new Keeper of the Royal Academy. Pilkington was elected as a Royal Academician in 2014 and served as Professor of Sculpture from 2015-19.

The Keeper is responsible for guiding the Royal Academy Schools, the longest established postgraduate art school in the UK and the only free three-year programme in Europe. Alongside the President, Secretary and Treasurer, the Keeper is one of the four Officers of the Royal Academy and is elected from amongst the membership. Due to current circumstances, Pilkington was elected by her fellow Royal Academicians via a remote ballot. She succeeds Rebecca Salter, who recently became President of the Royal Academy.

“As a passionate practitioner and an established Professor in the RA Schools I have witnessed first-hand the transformative effect that studying at the Royal Academy has on a student’s life and work,” said Pilkington. “As the new Keeper with unprecedented challenges ahead, I am deeply committed to promoting and protecting this wonderful and unique environment. I look forward to working closely with the President, staff and students to ensure the RA Schools remains energised, innovative and resilient for future generations of practicing artists.”

Rebecca Salter, President of the Royal Academy of Arts, said: “As an artist and teacher, Cathie Pilkington will bring a wealth of experience to the role of Keeper and joins the RA Schools at a particularly challenging time, with our students working from home and the future uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic. Her guidance and leadership for the students will be invaluable. I look forward to collaborating with her as we work towards reopening and as the RA Schools approaches its vital restoration and renewal project in 2022, which will preserve the heritage of the institution whilst also ensuring it continues to provide an exceptional contemporary postgraduate art education.”


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